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Mercedes-Benz Pulls Controversial, Self-Driving E-Class Ad

“You have to evaluate the environment,” especially after Tesla crash, says spox.

by on Jul.29, 2016

In "The Future," a new Mercedes-Benz E-Class (r) catches up with an autonomous F 015 concept.

Mercedes-Benz is pulling out of rotation a controversial ad for the new 2017 E-Class sedan that, critics contend, implies that the vehicle can be driven autonomously.

The issue has become particularly sensitive in the wake of a fatal crash involving a Tesla Model S sedan in Florida on May 9th. The vehicle was being operated in Tesla’s semi-autonomous Autopilot mode and, some evidence suggests, 40-year-old Joshua Brown may have been watching a video rather than remaining positioned to take control of the battery sedan in the event of a malfunction.

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“The intent was never to suggest this was (an autonomous vehicle), but that this is the latest of the building blocks” that will eventually lead to self-driving technology, said Mercedes spokesperson Donna Boland, when asked about the video ad dubbed “The Future.”


Mercedes Breaks Ground for First US Van Assembly Plant

Other plans, including an electric Sprinter, may be in the works.

by on Jul.28, 2016

The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter has traditionally been big with contractors, but is gaining demand from e-commerce.

While Daimler AG may best be known for luxurious passenger vehicles like the all-new 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class and the SL roadster, there’s another side to the maker’s ledger sheet. It also lays claims to being the world’s largest manufacturer of commercial vehicles, about 850,000 of them last year alone.

And it’s bound and determined to grow that business, starting with the U.S. market. It will clearly help when, in a few years, it will be able to start producing the big Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van from a plant going up on the north side of Charleston, South Carolina. That will end the costly dependence on bringing partially assembled bodies in from Germany and then finish them in Charleston.

Keep on Truckin'!

The lower costs could help make Mercedes more competitive in what has turned out to be a fast-growing U.S. market for European-style vans. But the maker is also looking at other ways to boost sales. The factory will be flexible enough to assemble the smaller Mercedes Metris van. And the maker is looking at other options, including possible battery-electric versions of those vans.


Mercedes Planning to Tackle Tesla with Electric Performance Sedan

Maker confirms long-range, high-performance electric sedan.

by on Jul.11, 2016

Mercedes-Benz will reveal a concept version of a long-range performance battery sedan in Paris.

Not all that long ago, Tesla and Daimler AG listed each other as partners, the battery-maker’s CEO Elon Musk going so far as to credit the German company with helping keep it in business at a time when Tesla was short of cash.

But that relationship is about to turn into a rivalry. Several reports have suggested Daimler’ Mercedes-Benz brand is working on a high-performance, long-range battery-electric sedan that could take on the California EV maker, and the Germans have now confirmed that plan, with a concept vehicle set to make its debut at the upcoming Paris Motor Show.

Product News!

Using a “highly efficient lithium ion battery supplied by Daimler’s subsidiary Deutsche ACCUMOTIVE combined with the intelligent Mercedes-Benz operation strategy allows purely battery-driven ranges of up to 500 km (or about 312 miles) for the first time,” says a statement from Mercedes.


Mercedes-Benz to Join Hydrogen Car Club

Mercedes GLC F-Cell will be first hydrogen plug-in hybrid.

by on Jun.14, 2016

The latest version of the Mercedes-Benz GLC will get a hydrogen-plug-in driveline in 2017.

Mercedes-Benz is the latest automaker to confirm plans to put a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle into production, joining a small but growing list that could reach 17 or more different models over the course of the next decade.

The luxury arm of Daimler AG has been fleet testing a number of hydrogen-powered vehicles in both California and Europe in recent years, including one off the small B-Class. But the production model will be based on the next generation GLC compact crossover. And the Mercedes GLC F-Cell will be the industry’s first to back up its hydrogen fuel-cell system with a plug-in hybrid.

Green News Now!

The upcoming launch of the F-Cell is part of Daimler AG’s broader green car strategy, the German maker intending to spend around $8 billion on alternative powertrain technologies during just the next two years, said R&D chief Thomas Weber. Instead of focusing on one or two possibilities, Daimler will test the waters for a broad variety of technologies, each with “their justification and chances” for acceptance.


Mercedes Planning to Add Wagon Version of New E-Class

E400 Wagon set to join sedan in U.S. showrooms in early 2017.

by on Jun.06, 2016

The new Mercedes E400 Wagon will reach U.S. showrooms in "early 2017," says the maker.

SUV and crossovers may be the big trend in the U.S. market, but Mercedes-Benz isn’t ready to walk away from the classic station wagon, with a new version of the E-Class set to go on sale “by early 2017,” the maker revealed today.

The German maker will be among a dwindling few brands to continue offering that body style when the 2017 Mercedes-Benz E400 Wagon comes to market. But there remains a small but surprisingly loyal core of buyers that Daimler’s luxury brand thinks it can continue tapping into.

Product News!

“The new Wagon is as dynamic as the Mercedes-Benz brand and as spacious as our customers expect,” said Ola Kallenius, the board member in charge of Mercedes marketing and sales. A key selling point, he suggested, will be the fact that the E400 will feature “all the innovations of the new E-Class,” which Mercedes claims is “the most intelligent executive sedan in the world.”


Tests Suggest Fiat May Also Have Diesel Emissions Issues

German report raises new concerns about emissions cheating.

by on Apr.25, 2016

The report claims VW was found using software that rolled back emissions controls after 22 minutes.

Fiat may find itself embroiled in the growing scandal surrounding diesel emissions problems.

A report out of Germany suggests the emissions control system on the Italian automaker’s diesel engines may be programmed to allow significantly higher levels of pollution if run for longer than 22 minutes at a time.

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Automakers are coming under increased scrutiny in the wake of the Volkswagen diesel cheating scandal – a crisis that has already cost the German maker at least $18.2 billion and subject it to hundreds of lawsuits and potential criminal charges. Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler AG has launched a probe into its own diesel emissions technology following a request from the U.S. Justice Department. And a number of German automakers have already recalled 630,000 diesels to revise emissions control software.


EPA Looking at Claims Mercedes Rigged Diesels

But no formal investigation, government says.

by on Feb.29, 2016

In 2012, Mercedes launched a U.S. S-Class diesel for the first time since 1995.

Barely a week after a Seattle law firm filed a class action lawsuit against luxury carmaker Daimler AG, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency confirmed Monday that it is looking into claims the automaker’s diesel vehicles were illegally rigged to pass American emissions standards.

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The agency says it wants data but cautions that it has not yet opened a formal investigation. Parent of Mercedes-Benz denies allegations and says it is fully cooperating with the government.


Mercedes-Benz Facing Class Action Suit Over Diesel Emissions Claims

Suit asserts German maker rigged diesels at low temperatures.

by on Feb.18, 2016

Mercedes-Benz offers diesel options in a number of models, such as this E250 BlueTec.

Just a day after Mercedes-Benz announced a new generation of “clean” diesel engines, the German maker has been hit with a class action lawsuit claiming it cheated on emissions rules with its older diesels.

The suit’s allegations echo claims against Volkswagen, another German maker that has acknowledged using a so-called “defeat device” to rig 11 million vehicles sold in the U.S. using a 2.0-liter turbodiesel, including 482,000 sold in the U.S.

Breaking News!

The suit, filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois cites tests done for the Dutch government indicating that, in real-world conditions, Mercedes’ BlueTec diesel vehicles produced “dangerous levels” of smog-causing nitrogen oxides, according to a statement by Seattle law firm Hagens Berman.


Daimler Recalling Over 800,000 Vehicles with Takata Airbags

Announcement comes days after big Honda airbag recall.

by on Feb.09, 2016

Add Daimler to the list of automakers impacted by Takata's faulty airbags. The German maker plans to recall 840,000 cars and vans.

Daimler is the latest automaker to be stung by a new round of Takata airbag recalls, the German maker announcing today it will replace faulty inflator modules in more than 840,000 Mercedes-Benz cars and Daimler vans sold in the U.S.

The announcement comes less than a week after Honda announced it would recall more than 2.2 million vehicles due to the Takata airbag problem. More service actions related to the ongoing problem are expected, according to industry observers.

Safety News!

The Takata airbag problem has become the biggest safety issue in automotive history, so far impacting at least 22 million vehicles sold in the U.S., with millions more vehicles overseas also being subject to repairs. (more…)

Mercedes Working Up 1,000 HP Supercar

Two alternate versions reportedly under development.

by on Nov.30, 2015

The Mercedes-McLaren SLR was first unveiled in 2003. It's shown here during a debut drive.

The new Mercedes-AMG GT is an intimidating beast, meant to challenge the likes of the venerable Porsche 911. But it’s not a true replacement for two of the maker’s recent supercars, the SLR and SLS models.

Now, it seems, Mercedes wants to fill that gap and take advantage of the growing demand for vehicles that can deliver as much as 1,000 horsepower or more. According to a report in the well-connected German magazine, Auto Bild, Mercedes is looking at two alternatives that could push the pony count near, and perhaps into the four-figure range.

Firing on All Cylinders!

It would join a select group of so-called ultracars, including the Koenigsegg Agera and Bugatti Veyron. But it would take a very different approach when it comes to delivering all that muscle.