Daimler AG has reportedly been busted for not being honest about its part in the big global diesel emissions scandal popularly known as “dieselgate.” An American law firm, Milberg, requested that automotive software expert, Felix Domke, testify as an expert witness in a case related to this. Domke’s report answered the question of whether Mercedes vehicles deliberately reduced their emissions control systems in real driving. That report was presented by Deutsche Umwelthilfe eV (DUH), an environmental organization in Germany.
According to DUH, the report showed that Daimler AG was deeply involved in the diesel emissions scandal than previously thought. Domke found that a total of eight previously unknown defeat devices were in a Mercedes-Benz E-Class with Euro 6 Diesel.
Domke is a software expert who has worked as an expert for the German Federal Motor Transport Authority, where he conducted an independent analysis of the software related to illegal defeat devices.
DUH argued that these are illegal. Nitrogen oxide emissions on the road were increased to up to 500% above the legal limit. The article also emphasized that up until this point, Daimler AG has always denied this.
DUH noted that the report showed for the first time how Daimler was able to comply with the legal limit values in the testing lab while actually releasing nitrogen oxides into cities, harming people in illegal ways. Jürgen Resch, Federal Managing Director of DUH, said:
“Daimler finally transfers Felix Domke’s report. It shows us for the first time how the group succeeds in complying with the legal limit values in the test laboratory, while literally flooding our cities with harmful nitrogen oxides in real road traffic. The manipulation of the exhaust gas purification does not exist because it is necessary for physical reasons or for the purpose of protecting the engine. The reason is as simple as it is cynical: It is about maximizing profit at the expense of the environment and the health of the city dwellers.
“We demand from the new federal government that finally, as in the USA, all diesel vehicles with shut-off devices in the exhaust gas cleaning system are either shut down or repaired via an official recall at the manufacturer’s expense. The World Health Organization recently called for the nitrogen dioxide limit value to be lowered from 40 to 10 µg / m3 as an annual mean. To this end, all illegal sources of diesel emissions must be targeted — action must finally be taken.”
Domke documented the eight defeat devices in detail. Six of the devices were related to the SCR system, and three of them depended on an aging factor that lowered the threshold values that would begin the shutdown of the devices. DUH noted that in two cases, this happens after the vehicle ages around 1%, or after a few thousand kilometers of mileage. Once the vehicle has aged 20%, there’s a further reduction. Domke also found two illegal shutdown devices related to the vehicles’ exhaust gas recirculation system.
The press release also pointed out:
“The expert report is supported by current exhaust gas measurements obtained on the road by DUH’s Emissions Control Institute (EKI). These demonstrate that the manufacturer Daimler installed several illegal defeat devices in the E350T Euronorm 6 vehicle under investigation. The vehicle complies with the legal nitrogen oxide limit values when examined on the test bench. However, based on a similar driving profile on the road, the EKI’s exhaust measurements indicate an increase in nitrogen oxide emissions of up to 500 percent and more.
“The German Federal Motor Vehicle and Transport Authority (KBA) had already demanded a software update for the model under investigation here. The illegal defeat devices have been removed in the updated software. The nitrogen oxide emissions are subsequently also below the legal limit value during road testing. This underlines that the vehicle’s hardware has always been capable of reducing emissions in compliance with the law, however, this was deliberately prevented by the software programming.”
Domke shared his thoughts on his findings and pointed out that none of these were for engine protection and that they resulted in the vehicles emitting an unnecessarily large amount of nitrogen oxide.
“The disconnection devices found are activated in driving situations that are common on the road. Even with normal driving, at least one shutdown device almost always actively prevents the improvement of emissions — even if it is not necessary physically or for engine protection.
“This significantly reduces the amount of AdBlue injected, which is urgently needed to neutralize the nitrogen oxides in the SCR catalytic converter; similarly, the exhaust gas recirculation rate is reduced. As a result, the exhaust gas processing hardware, which is actually capable, often only provides a fraction of the possible output, and the vehicle emits unnecessarily large amounts of nitrogen oxides.”
Axel Friedrick, an environmental and traffic expert, expressed hope that the courts would stop believing the claims of the car manufacturers.
“The claims of the car manufacturers that the driving conditions lead to high pollutant emissions on the road are taken to absurdity here.
“It is to be hoped that the courts will no longer believe the car manufacturers’ nonsensical claims and will finally help the car owners to get their rights. “
Glenn Phillips, a managing partner of Milberg, the international law firm which commissioned the report, shared some thoughts.
“From a legal point of view, the situation is clear. The investigation comes to the conclusion that the Daimler Group has installed a large number of impermissible defeat devices that clearly violate applicable law. Affected consumers are now obviously entitled to compensation, after all, they were sold a defective vehicle for which they paid the full purchase price. Legally, one can speak of fraud here — not only against the environment but also against the customers. Mercedes drivers should now check whether their diesel is also affected. “
The greed of those who don’t care about this planet really knows no bounds. Daimler was a-okay with releasing toxic gases into our air all in the name of profits.
Don't want to miss a cleantech story? Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.