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Daimler forced to recall Mercedes cars over diesel emissions

Thousands of Mercedes models recalled in Germany after authorities discover illegal emissions software

Daimler, parent brand of Mercedes Benz, has been ordered to recall 238,000 cars sold in Germany. The country’s motoring watchdog, the KBA, determined that it has used illegal software to alter diesel emissions.

A total of 774,000 Mercedes vehicles sold all over Europe are thought to be affected, though the KBA only has the authority to act within Germany.

‘The government will order 238,000 Daimler vehicles to be immediately recalled Germany-wide because of unauthorised defeat devices,’ the KBA said in a statement.

Which? is taking a stance against high-polluting cars. Any vehicle that produces a lot of toxic emissions in our tests can’t be a Best Buy. From NOx to CO – we reveal the dirtiest and cleanest carmakers.

UK bestselling model involved

While not yet confirmed by the manufacturer, reports indicate that affected models include particular diesel versions of the C-Class saloon, GLC SUV and Vito vans. As yet, there’s no confirmation as to the age of the cars involved, though it is likely that it will include those with the latest Euro 6 emissions certification.

A report in the German newspaper, Bild am Sonntag, stated that the KBA had identified illegal software. This software caused artificially high levels of AdBlue exhaust treatment to be used in lab tests, resulting in much lower oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions than possible in real-world driving.

The recall is the latest issued by the KBA relating to suspect emissions software. Recently both Audi emissions and Porsche diesel engines (both companies being subsidiaries of parent company and ‘dieselgate’ architect Volkswagen) have come under scrutiny, resulting in both manufacturers recalling thousands of models after emissions manipulating software was detected.

Which? contacted Mercedes to find out exactly which models and how many UK Mercedes owners were likely to be affected. A company spokesperson responded only to confirm that Daimler had acknowledged the recall and that ‘open legal questions will be clarified in the objection proceedings.’

We will continue to update this story as more details become available.

Car emissions: the Which? difference

In our own tough emissions tests, we collect air-polluting emissions data in our lab. This measures the quantity of exhaust emissions – such as oxides of nitrogen (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO), hydrocarbons (HC) and particulate matter (PM).

Any vehicle that produces a very large amount of air pollution in our tests cannot be a Best Buy car. To stop any manufacturer confusing our tests, where we’re suspicious of the NOx emissions we record in the lab, we will often run additional test cycles using a Portable Emissions Measuring System (PEMS).

This device is placed in the car and emissions are recorded while driving on real roads. We then compare this data with what we recorded in the lab.

Cut through the claims and buy with confidence – head to our guide to the top cars for 2018, to discover the models that we recommend.

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