Enlarge /. A Mercedes-Benz diesel from the 1980s belches exhaust fumes in London. People expected this vintage diesel engines to be dirty, but we had the right to expect diesel engines sold over the past decade to meet emissions laws. It turns out they don't.
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In 2020, it seems more common to read about the US Environmental Protection Agency's withdrawal of pollution laws, or to argue that big corporations are allowed to do what they want. But apparently the agency is working as intended on occasion. Earlier this week, Daimler AG – the parent company of Mercedes-Benz – was responsible for selling diesel vehicles with emission control devices, along with the US Department of Justice and the California Air Resources Board.
EPA and CARB found that after the Volkswagen emissions scandal in 2015, things were not all right with Daimler's diesel engines. The EPA told Daimler that it would conduct some additional tests on the company's four- and six-cylinder diesel engines, "using driving cycles and conditions expected in normal operation and use, to investigate possible failure. " Device."
Several auxiliary emission control devices were discovered that were not described in the homologation documents submitted by Daimler. A total of around 160,000 Sprinters and around 90,000 Mercedes-Benz vehicles are affected between model years 2009 and 2016.
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As a result, Daimler pays civil fines of $ 875 million and other fines of $ 70.3 million. A callback will also have to be paid for to repair those 250,000 diesel engines. All of them require a new nitrogen oxide (NOx) filter and software update, but many also require additional parts, including new copper catalytic converters, diesel particulate filters, sensors, and even new instrument panels.
That costs the company an additional $ 436 million, and it can't hang around either. The comparison stipulates that 85 percent of Mercedes-Benz cars must be recalled and repaired within two years and 85 percent of Sprinter vans must be repaired within three years, with "severe penalties" for failure.
While the company's checkbook comes out, Daimler will pay California $ 110 million to fund pollution-reducing projects within the state. Orders were given to buy 15 new locomotive engines to replace some older, dirtier ones. In addition to these financial sanctions, Daimler employees will complete a lot more compliance training in the future as part of corporate reforms designed to prevent this from happening again.