Mercedes-Benz Emissions Cheating Leads to Nearly $1 Billion Fine

German prosecutors fine Daimler based on "negligent violation of supervisory duties."

Mercedes-Benz Emissions Cheating Leads to Nearly $1 Billion Fine

Posted in News

— Mercedes-Benz emissions cheating has cost Daimler nearly $1 billion after German prosecutors fined the automaker "based on a negligent violation of supervisory duties in the area of vehicle certification in connection with deviations from regulatory requirements in certain Mercedes-Benz vehicles."

According to the Stuttgart public prosecutor's office, Daimler, the maker of Mercedes vehicles, violated the Administrative Offenses Act since at least 2008 due to actions of department heads.

Prosecutors found evidence that Mercedes department chiefs failed in their supervisory duties by manufacturing models that didn't meet emissions regulatory requirements.

Mercedes argued in 2018 that its vehicles weren't illegal because the emissions software was considered legal under European standards. While millions of Volkswagen vehicles were equipped with defeat devices that turned off emissions controls, Mercedes claimed its vehicles contained no such devices.

But according to German prosecutors, more than 860,000 Mercedes diesel vehicles failed to emit legal levels of nitrogen oxides, a fact that caused Mercedes to respond by saying it wouldn't fight the nearly $1 billion penalty.

In addition to European actions, certain Mercedes-Benz vehicles lost their certifications after South Korea's Ministry of Environment accused Daimler of forging emissions documents.

Daimler had already set aside more than 1.5 billion euros to cover fines and penalties levied for violating diesel emissions standards, but the automaker claims its third-quarter earnings forecast won't be updated.

This newest action only occurred because of the worldwide emissions scandal caused by Volkswagen's emissions cheating that fooled test machines and regulators for many years.