Daimler, parent company of German marque Mercedes-Benz, has issued a recall for more than three million diesel-powered vehicles in Europe to reduce the amount of nitrogen-oxide emissions from existing vehicles.
"The public debate about diesel engines is creating uncertainty – especially for our customers. We have therefore decided on additional measures to reassure drivers of diesel cars and to strengthen confidence in diesel technology. We are convinced that diesel engines will continue to be a fixed element of the drive-system mix, not least due to their low CO2 emissions."
The recall is an expansion of a current "service action" that is in progress to update one version of the diesel engines used in its "compact-class cars", with around 45 per cent of these vehicles in Europe receiving the fix so far. Additionally, 75 per cent of European V-Class owners have undertaken a similar service action.
Above: Mercedes-Benz V-Class
Daimler is now investing around 220 million euros ($320.88 million) to update nearly all of its Euro 5 and Euro 6 diesel vehicles in Europe "in close cooperation with the German regulatory authorities", which will come at no cost to customers.
This latest development comes after Mercedes-Benz had come under fire from European authorities regarding its diesel emissions, in the wake of Volkswagen's 'Dieselgate' saga.
In May, German authorities raided Daimler's offices, involving 23 prosecutors and 230 police at 11 Daimler locations throughout Germany.
The searches were "due to suspicion of fraud and criminal advertising relating to the possible manipulation of exhaust-gas aftertreatment in passenger cars with diesel engines", looking for documents and evidence that might aid in the investigation into "known and unknown" Daimler employees.
However, authorities and the German company remained tight-lipped as to further details regarding the matter at the time.
In addition to the announcement of the voluntary recall, Mercedes-Benz said it is speeding up the rollout of its new modular diesel engine family, the first of which debuting in the new E-Class (above).
The new engines offer "exemplary emissions" which have been "confirmed by measurements carried out by independent institutes", and will now be rolled out "rapidly" across the company's entire model portfolio.
Speaking with CarAdvice, David McCarthy, senior manager for public relations at Mercedes-Benz's local arm, said at the moment there is no confirmed impact on Australian vehicles.
McCarthy added that the coming days should clarify whether local customers will be affected by a similar action.