German lobby group says excess emissions detected in Mercedes model

Wed Dec 16, 2015 7:26am EST
 
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By Andreas Cremer

BERLIN (Reuters) - German environmental lobby group DUH turned on carmaker Daimler on Wednesday, saying test results had shown nitrogen oxide emissions from one of its Mercedes diesel models far exceeded European legal limits.

Daimler (DAIGn.DE: Quote) described the results from a Mercedes C-Class 200 CDI as "questionable", saying the model used technology that met European Union standards and threatening legal action should "false claims" damage its reputation.

Citing tests carried out by the University of Applied Sciences in Bern, Switzerland, DUH told a news conference that the car, a 2011 model, had released emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) that were more than twice the legal limits when tested with a warm engine under new European testing cycles.

The carmaker took issue with DUH's assertions. "The test results are questionable as the conditions of the test are not clear. We don't know the specific car, the temperature at the time of the tests, the loading weight," a Daimler spokesman said.

Fellow German carmaker Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE: Quote) is engulfed in a scandal after rigging the results of exhaust emissions tests in the United States.

DUH has made charges against a number of other motor manufacturers. In October it said a model built by General Motors' (GM.N: Quote) Opel division had shown excessive emissions of nitrous oxide, an assertion that was denied by Opel at the time.

French rival Renault (RENA.PA: Quote) has also contested findings cited by DUH that one of its minivans released toxic diesel emissions 25 times over legal limits.

Daimler said in a statement on Wednesday that the car tested in Switzerland used technology certified in 2007 that met the EU's Euro-5 standard. It acknowledged that results under real driving conditions often differed from those in a laboratory.   Continued...

 
A C-class by Daimler AG is pictured before the company's annual news conference in Stuttgart February 6, 2014.  REUTERS/Michaela Rehle