WASHINGTON (AP) – Automaker Daimler AG and subsidiary Mercedes-Benz USA have agreed to pay $ 1.5 billion to the US government and California state regulators to resolve emissions fraud charges, officials said on Monday.
The US Department of Justice, the Environmental Protection Agency and the California Attorney General’s Office say Daimler violated environmental laws by using so-called “defeat device software” to halt emissions testing, and about 250,000 cars with diesel engines in the US And sold the van. Tees comply with state and federal laws.
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Officials said the settlement, including civil penalties, would require Daimler to fix the vehicles.
The Stuttgart, Germany-based automaker said on August 13 that it had about 250,000 diesel cars and vans with the Department of Justice, Environmental Protection Agency, Customs and Border Protection, California Air Resources Board and other civil and environmental claims.
Daimler AG said the settlement would cost about $ 1.5 billion, while the civil settlement would cost about one-third of the $ 700 million. It was estimated that further expenses of three-digit-million million euros would be required “to meet the conditions of the settlements”.
But the company did not clarify how the vehicles would be cleaned or whether it is an allegation of any wrongdoing in the US, like Volkswagen, which paid $ 2.8 billion to settle a criminal case due to fraud. Fiat Chrysler is also being investigated for emissions fraud.
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VW admitted that when the vehicles were being tested in EPA laboratories, and when the diesel vehicles were on the actual roads, they turned on pollution control. The company defrauded the EPA for years before it was discovered by a non-profit climate group and researchers at West Virginia University.
As part of the settlement, California officials will receive $ 17.5 million for future environmental enforcement, as well as to support environmentally-beneficial projects in the state, officials said.
“Longterm, cheating is not the best way to market your product. Daimler is finding out today. But they are not the first – nor are they the last – to try, ”said California Attorney General Xavier Bakerra. “Installing debacle device software on your vehicles to cheat emissions regulators does not qualify as doing more. It means that once we catch you you will pay more in penalties. And we will, because theaters Not really as smart as they think. ”
Daimler’s pollution practices are also under investigation in Germany, and civil lawsuits have claimed that vehicles emit more pollutants than advertised.
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In April 2016, the Department of Justice asked Daimler to conduct an internal investigation of its exhaust emissions certification process. The request came after EPA began investigating all diesel engines after Volkswagen was tricked.
Steve Burman, a Seattle attorney who filed a lawsuit against Daimler over Mercedes diesel pollution, said that in 2016 his firm hired a company to test Mercedes Diceles on real roads, which found that they were nearly Too much nitrogen oxides are precipitated all the time. Burman accused Mercedes of calling the software a “defeat device” that was similar to VWs.
In September 2019, federal prosecutors accused a Fiat Chrysler engineer of rigging pollution tests on more than 100,000 diesel pick-up trucks and SUVs sold in the US, the first after a wave of similar cases against Volkswagen and its managers Prosecution
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The alleged scheme is not as large as the Volkswagen emissions scandal, involving around 600,000 vehicles. But the allegations suggest investigators are still on the case, months later when Fiat Chrysler agreed to a $ 650 million civil settlement and said it would replace the Jeep Grand Cheroke with an “Ecodel” engine built between 2014 and 2016 and Ram will fix 1500 trucks.
Prosecutors alleged that the engineer manipulated the software to execute the pollution control system differently under government testing during regular driving.
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