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Daimler Chief Zetsche Facing Involuntary Manslaughter Probe

Exec was not behind wheel when accident occurred.

by on Sep.16, 2011

Daimler Chief Dieter Zetsche (l), with Nissan/Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn at the Frankfurt Motor Show this week.

Daimler AG Chief Executive Officer Dieter Zetsche is facing an involuntary manslaughter probe over the death of an engineer at a company test track in northern Germany, Stuttgarter Zeitung has reported.

The possible charges are considered unusual in that Zetsche was Zetsche was not behind the wheel of the car that crashed and, Daimler AG said in a statement, one court has already cleared the executive, of any charges of gross negligence.

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“In legal proceedings against the perpetrator of the accident before the Papenburg District Court on July 12, both the judge and the public prosecutor explicitly stated that the company Daimler, and consequently also the Chairman of the Board of Management, were in no way to blame,” the company said Friday.


First Look: Mercedes-Benz F125! Gullwing Coupe Concept

Hints at how Germans may put hydrogen power into production.

by on Sep.12, 2011

Mercedes will show off the F125!, a gull-winged, plug-in hybrid fuel cell vehicle.

A day ahead of its planned top-secret unveiling, word – and images – of the Mercedes-Benz F125! has leaked out.  The gullwing coupe concept is apparently intended to provide a hint of what a hydrogen-powered sports coupe might look like.

The show car echoes other recent concepts, such as the striking A-Class prototype unveiled last April in New York, with its almost liquid silver paint and high-tech LED lighting.  The flip-open doors are largely borrowed from the Mercedes SLS supercar.

Mercedes has been a diehard proponent of hydrogen technology, betting that it may eventually succeed the battery cars that have lately stolen much of the green powertrain thunder.  The German maker recently launched a prototype, dubbed the F-Cell, which it is leasing to a small number of customers in Southern California – one of the few places in the world with relatively easy access to hydrogen pumps.

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But the German government has authorized a multi-billion Euro effort to put up more than 1,000 hydrogen stations around the country – they will also offer battery chargers – which would make hydrogen power a practical reality as long as one didn’t stray too far over the border.