Daimler AG has brought in an outside firm to review its internal records for any sign of cheating on emission tests for diesel engines sold in the U.S. and the European Union.
The auditing firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu was hired to help with an internal investigation into its diesel-engine emissions technology requested by the U.S. Department of Justice, the luxury car maker said.
The Delotte Touche review is specifically designed to see if Daimler used any devices to manipulate emissions tests. Volkswagen AG has admitted installing software that did so and faces billions in dollars in fines and court cases.
Daimler is clearly trying to avoid a similar fate by demonstrating that its tests have been above board and by the book.
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The company said last month that it was conducting its own internal investigation of its certification process for diesel exhaust emissions in the United States at the request of the Justice Department.
Deloitte staff are reviewing documents and emails from staff of Daimler’s engine development site in Sindelfingen and its corporate headquarters in Stuttgart, German weekly Der Spiegel earlier reported.
Meanwhile, Daimler is also facing multiple lawsuits in the United States, which claim that, like Volkswagen, it cheated on its emission testing. Following the first lawsuit in February, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency asked Daimler AG for additional information about its emission controls, but the agency has not launched an official probe.
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Daimler previously flatly denied that it uses any sort of cheat devices or software like that employed by VW. Right after the Volkswagen scandal became public in September 2015, Daimler said, “We categorically deny the accusation of manipulating emission tests regarding our vehicles. A defeat device, a function which illegitimately reduces emissions during testing, has never been and will never be used at Daimler.”
Privately, Daimler officials have note the Blue Tec system built into Mercedes-Benz automobiles and utility vehicles comes with an elaborate emission control system that requires regular maintenance.
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But Daimler Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche also said last winter during the North American International Auto Show that the scandal at Volkswagen has placed added regulatory pressure on all automakers and sullied the reputation of diesel engines.