The announcement comes amid a global emissions-cheating scandal surrounding rival German auto giant Volkswagen, which admitted to installing so-called “defeat devices” into 11 million diesel engines worldwide.
Daimler said it would “investigate possible indications of irregularities and of course take all necessary action”.
Net profit fell by 31% to €1.353bn in the period from January, “impacted primarily by a life cycle-related decrease in unit sales of the S- and E-Class at the Mercedes-Benz Cars division”, the company said. In the Volkswagen case, the DOJ worked together with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB).
Referring to the class action by owners, Daimler said their lawsuit’s claims were without merit and the Justice Department investigation was unrelated.
Peugeot SA, the French company behind Peugeot and Citroen, is also taking a beating, after it announced on Thursday evening that it was the “subject of a visit and a seizure” by French authorities, with emissions tests the subject of the raid.
“Our conservative communication supports a constructive relationship with the authorities”, said chief financial officer Bodo Uebber. “The fact that Mercedes passed the dynamometer test in all tests, but failed the real world test, is suggestive that like VW, Mercedes is implementing a “defeat device”, it said in its complaint filed in New Jersey.
They allege the cars are programmed in a way that lets them emit illegal levels of emissions, similar to diesels made by fellow German carmaker Volkswagen, which confirmed settlement plans for hundreds of thousands of USA customers on Thursday. BlueTEC is a filter system that uses urea to help rid exhaust fumes of health-threatening nitric oxides. But Daimler’s report didn’t focuses just on diesels, but its emissions program in general.