Daimler included emissions-cheating software on diesels, German magazine says

Daimler included emissions-cheating software on diesels, German magazine says

The newspaper cited confidential documents it had seen.

US investigators have found potentially illegal software modifications in Mercedes-Benz diesel cars to help the vehicles pass emissions tests, a German paper said.

Daimler, which faces ongoing investigations by United States and German authorities into excess diesel emissions, has said investigations could lead to significant penalties and recalls. One called "Bit 15" was created to switch off emissions cleaning after 16 miles of driving, while another called "Slipguard" can detect if the auto is being tested based on speed and acceleration. One piece of software allegedly switched of emissions cleaning after 26 kilometers, allowing the vehicle to showcase normal emission behavior during regulatory testing.

In addition, another function that came under heavy scrutiny allowed the cleaning system for emissions to recognize if the vehicle was undergoing a test based upon the patterns of acceleration or speed.

A spokesman for Mercedes owner Daimler declined to comment on the content of the documents, saying the automaker was fully cooperating with the US authorities and had agreed upon strict confidentiality with the Department of Justice. The magazine said authorities believe the vans (and other Daimler vehicles) are equipped with an illegal defeat device that can control the amount of AdBlue used in the engines.

Growing scrutiny has taken place when it comes to diesel vehicles since 2015 when Volkswagen admitted to installing software in 580,000 vehicles in the US that allows the diesel engines to emit as much as 40 times above the legal allowable emissions in normal operation, but meet testing standards set by regulators. The documents that were made available to Bild were obviously selected and then released as a means of harming the image of Daimler and its more than 290,000 employees.

Bild am Sonntag also cited emails from Daimler engineers questioning whether these software functions were legal.