BERLIN, May 28 (Xinhua) -- German Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer gave Daimler AG a window of 14 days on Monday to provide more information about illicit motor software discovered recently in Mercedes-Benz vehicles.
Scheuer informed press of the latest development in the diesel emissions scandal following a personal discussion with Daimler chief executive officer Dieter Zetsche in Berlin. The meeting was scheduled after the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) confirmed that it had identified defeat devices in the diesel exhaust systems of the Mercedes-Benz van model "Vito" which understated the vehicles' nitrogen oxide (NOx) emission levels.
The transport minister announced that he would launch a comprehensive exchange between the government and Daimler to clarify how many vehicles are affected by the scandal. The KBA is currently in the process of investigating other Daimler models with suspected of having been fitted with illicit defeat device, including the Mercedes-Benz "C Class" and "G Class" series.
"It was a good talk, we will see each other again in 14 days", Zetsche said while leaving the ministry. Daimler has agreed to recall a total of 4,900 "Vito" vans of the latest 1.6-liter "Euro6" diesel motor type as requested by the KBA but insists that it did not act in breach of the law.
"The functions are part of a complex exhaust cleaning system which is intended to ensure robust exhaust cleaning in different driving conditions and throughout the life-cycle of a vehicle", a statement by Daimler read. The company emphasized that the software in question was of no relevance to regular emissions testing procedures.
Nevertheless, Daimler has received orders from the KBA to present a technical solution for the emissions-cheating software by June 15. Scheuer further revealed on Monday that a judicial process has been launched which will require the carmaker to retrospectively alter the European Union (EU)'s regulatory type approval for "Vito" vans.
Zetsche has repeatedly sought to differentiate Daimler from other carmakers in the diesel emissions scandal, highlighting recently that "no manipulations of vehicles whatsoever" had occurred purposefully at his company. Daimler previously agreed a voluntary recall of around 3 million diesel vehicles with the KBA in order to lower their NOx emissions with software updates.
The Green party urged Scheuer on Monday to demand a binding catalogue of measures from Daimler in response to the newest allegations.
Greens deputy parliamentary faction leader Oliver Krischer called for the publication of "all illegal defeat devices used by Daimler." Krischer argued that the company would have to face the threat of fines if it failed to collaborate with authorities properly.