'Dieselgate' engulfs Mercedes owner Daimler as DoJ orders probeComments Off on 'Dieselgate' engulfs Mercedes owner Daimler as DoJ orders probe
The “emissions” crisis which has battered Japan’s Mitsubishi has spread to German Mercedes-Benz carmaker Daimler.
Daimler is the latest company to come under the spotlight in the wake of the cheating debacle which first engulfed Volkswagen last year.
The US Department of Justice has demanded it probe “possible indications of irregularities” in its emissions certification, prompting Daimler to launch an official investigation.
The company is also facing a class-action lawsuit from owners of Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz BlueTEC diesels — which claims the cars are programmed in a way that lets them emit illegal levels of emissions — although the firm denies the claims and says it is unrelated to the DoJ’s intervention.
Mitsubishi, meanwhile, is at the centre of the worst sell-off since its float in 1988: shares slumped 16% on Friday.
The company admitted earlier this week that it manipulated tests to exaggerate the fuel performance of more than 600,000 cars in Japan by as much as 10%. Shares have lost 42% of their value in the past three days.
The first signs of Mitsubishi’s crisis spreading outside Japan also emerged after US regulators asked for information on its vehicles sold in the US and local media reports suggested the company may not yet have disclosed all the models involved in the scandal.
French carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroën has also been raided by fraud-busters this week.
Daimler’s emissions probe came alongside a 32% slump in first-quarter profits to €1.4 billion (£1.1 billion) as the launch costs of its E-Class saloon weighed on the bottom line.
Daimler’s directors are hoping that the profit blow will be a temporary setback as customers flock to the new model.
The E-Class is full of high-tech features including the ability to park it from outside using a smartphone app. It can also share information with other cars over potential traffic jams.