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US EPA asks Daimler for Mercedes-Benz diesel emissions info

US EPA asks Daimler for Mercedes-Benz diesel emissions info

DAIMLER has confirmed receiving a request from the US Environmental Protection Agency over emission levels from its luxury car brand Mercedes-Benz.

The EPA said it had not opened an official investigation into Mercedes-Benz but had only requested information to explain emissions levels in some of its cars.

A spokesman for Daimler said it was fully cooperating with the request, adding that Mercedes-Benz cars conformed with all rules and norms.

He said that under certain circumstances, a system to treat exhaust fumes could operate at a level of reduced effectiveness to prevent condensation from building up in the exhaust system.

The condensation could otherwise lead to corrosion and damage the effectiveness of the engine and exhaust system — permissible and not illegal.

Daimler said the EPA request for information came in response to a class-action lawsuit filed by law firm Hagens Berman on Feb 18, 2016, in the New Jersey District Court.

The suit accuses Mercedes of deceiving consumers with false representations of its BlueTEC vehicles, which it marketed as “the world’s cleanest and most advanced diesel”.

Daiumler said through its spokesman the suit was wholly unfounded and without merit.

The lawsuit alleges the automaker knowingly programmed its Clean Diesel vehicles to emit illegal, dangerous levels of nitrogen oxide, or NOx, at levels 65 times higher than those permitted by the EPA when operating in temperatures below 50 degrees F (10 C).

German daily Handelsblatt was first to report the EPA request for information, Reuters reported. In its Monday edition, Handelsblatt quoted Christopher Grundler, director of the EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality, as saying: “We know about the lawsuit. We have contacted Mercedes and requested the test results for the US diesel engines.”

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