Daimler in Talks With German Authorities Over Diesel Issues

(Bloomberg) -- Daimler AG is in discussion with German authorities over potential emissions irregularities in Mercedes-Benz cars, but hasn’t received formal notice from regulators mandating a recall of vehicles.

The luxury carmaker, which is under investigation in Germany over its diesel emissions practices, could be forced to fix more than 600,000 diesel cars due to illegal engine setups that lower emission controls, Spiegel magazine reported earlier Friday.

“We’re in a continuous exchange with the KBA and cooperate thoroughly with the authority,” the Stuttgart, Germany-based company said Friday in an emailed statement. The KBA, Germany’s federal motor industry watchdog, issues permits for Daimler’s vehicles in Europe. The Spiegel report is “speculation,” it said.

Automakers across the globe have come under scrutiny in the wake of Volkswagen AG’s emissions-cheating scandal in as many as 11 million cars, which was made public by U.S. authorities in September 2015. Daimler, which is facing an ongoing investigation by German and U.S. authorities, and other peers have been accused of practices that stretch official rules, resulting in excessive emissions on the road.

Daimler fell 1.2 percent to 64.44 euros, the lowest in more than two months, to trade at 64.82 euros at 5:06 p.m. in local trading, pushing losses this year to 8.4 percent.

Ongoing Investigations

Nearly three years after Volkswagen’s duping of authorities erupted into the public, the drip-feed of negative headlines indicates the process of working through the scandal is far from finished. VW units Porsche and Audi this month had to recall several models, after the German regulator found illegal emissions setups. In March, BMW AG joined the list of carmakers under investigation over suspected illegal devices.

Meanwhile, U.S. authorities continue to investigate Daimler over its diesel engine setups to meet emissions regulation. The probe started more than two years ago, alongside consumer lawsuits in the U.S. Separately, Stuttgart prosecutors last year started a criminal investigation of Daimler employees over diesel-manipulation allegations.

Daimler reiterated Friday it was considering legal action against a KBA recall for the Mercedes-Benz Vito van 1.6-liter diesel Euro 6 model. The recall affects some 4,900 vehicles worldwide, including 1,300 in Germany.

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