Daimler may cop billion dollar fine over dirty diesels
Daimler, parent company of Mercedes-Benz, is likely to be hit with a fine of between €800 million and €1 billion, according to German media.
Stuttgart prosecutors are currently agreeing on a final number for the fine, after the German transport agency KBA found software-based emissions cheats in close to 300,000 of its cars.
Diesel-powered C- and E-Class cars were ordered to be recalled after Daimler refused to do it voluntarily, with the Stuttgart public prosecutor considering a fine of up to €5000 for each cheater car sold.
Daimler’s market standing has, unsurprisingly, taken a knock as a result of the looming fine, with shares dropping from €59.94 in April to €41.4 yesterday. Daimler has lost €21 billion in overall worth, while market capitalisation dropped from €71.2 billion to €50.2 billion.
This new scandal isn’t related to the much-publicised Dieselgate, costing Volkswagen €28 billion since 2015. Daimler figured out its own ways to cheat during emissions testing, including thermal switching that turned off emissions scrubbing systems below six degrees Celsius and above 28 degrees. At least two other processes are being investigated by the public prosecutors. Another investigation is underway in the United States as well.