Daimler Denies Quietly Removing Cheating Software in GLK Model

(Bloomberg) -- German luxury carmaker Daimler AG denied that it quietly removed emission-test-cheating software from a range of Mercedes GLK 220 CDI diesel models, highlighting the German car industry’s legal struggles over diesel exhaust manipulation since Volkswagen AG was caught using illegal devices in 2015.

Germany’s Bild am Sonntag newspaper reported on Sunday that the KBA German Federal Motor Transport Authority detected a software function in the compact SUV’s OM 651 engine in autumn 2018 and that suspicions of software cheating were later confirmed. The function was quietly removed during software updates, the newspaper said.

In denying the report, Daimler said it’s working with authorities in a formal hearing initiated by the KBA in April. The hearing relates to GLKs produced between June 2012 and June 2015, it said. As many as 60,000 vehicles could be affected, according to Bild.

“We fully cooperate with the Federal Motor Transport Authority and are reviewing the facts,” Daimler said in an emailed statement. “The allegation that we wanted to hide something with the voluntary service measure is incorrect.”

Daimler said the carmaker is adhering to the approval process agreed with the Transport Ministry and the KBA in implementing the voluntary service measures, which include software updates, for more than 3 million affected Mercedes-Benz vehicles.

A Stuttgart court in January published a filing that seeks to have a mass investor lawsuit certified over claims that Daimler informed markets too late about its use of defeat devices in diesel vehicles. Daimler spokesman Daniel Blatt said subsequently that the suit is unfounded and the company will fight it.

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