There was a sharp fall in the share prices of Daimler AG following a new report in a German newspaper about a potential investigation in the United States where allegedly a software has been detected in the diesel cars of its Mercedes-Benz brand which could have been only specifically designed and used in the cars to get through emissions tests in the country.
The German vehicle manufacturer has created a number of software applications that are designed to bring down or control the use of AdBlue fluid. This fluid aids in the elimination of harmful exhaust gases. This was reported in the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag on Sunday based on sources and confidential documents that the newspaper had managed to lay hands on. The new report cited sources and internal emails of the company where employees of Daimler have expressed their doubts about the legal status of the software functions which aid in a single tank of AdBlue being able to last for an entire period from that elapses between two scheduled servicings of the car.
There was a 2.4 per cent decline in the shares of Daimler and it turned out to be the worst performer on the DAX Index of Germany. This drop for the company is its highest since February 6. The shares last traded at 70.77 euros. As of 10:07 a.m. in Frankfurt, the shares had fallen by 2.1 percent.
The documents have “selectively been released in order to harm Daimler and its 290,000 employees”, said Joerg Howe, a spokesman for the Stuttgart, Germany-based manufacturer. According to the newspaper report, he said that no complaint has been filed so far even though there was knowledge about the documents with the authorities who have been investigating Daimler for over two years now.
For the German car industry in the U.S., it would be another strong blow if this matter goes on to result in charges being framed against the company. Volkswagen AG was found by the U.S. authorities to be intentionally using a software that reduced the emissions with the aim of evading testing regimes. The cheating software was designed to recognize whether a car was on a test stand for emission testing. The blow to the car maker resulted in it shelling out $30 billion in fines and costs of repairs of all of the faulty cars in addition to recalls from the civil and criminal proceedings initiated against it.
Daimler said that the company was completely cooperating with the California Air Resources Board, the Environmental Protection Agency and with other related U.S. authorities. The company had also responded to a request for conducting an internal probe into the issue by the Department of Justice. In a separate case, criminal investigations against employee of Daimler accused of diesel manipulation has been initiated in Stuttgart last year.
(Adapted from Boomberg.com)