At least 3 million Mercedes Benz diesel cars and vans across Europe will be recalled over concerns of emission standards. The German car manufacturer Daimler has asked owners to update a software that has already been installed.
This will cut emissions of toxic nitrogen oxides, which are linked to respiratory disease.
The recall follows the launch of an investigation by the German authorities in May into allegations of its failure to adhere to emission standards and possible manipulation of exhaust controls with cars with diesel engines.
Hundreds of police officers and prosecutors searched Daimler sites across Germany. The company has said that it is cooperating with the investigation.
The decision to cut emissions from around three million existing vehicles across Europe will cost the company about £195 million (220 million euros). It comes amid continued scrutiny of the company’s emissions systems by the German government and calls for bans on diesel engines in the country’s cities.
There has been calls for a ban on diesel cars in some German cities because of concerns about levels of nitrogen oxide they emit.
The recall will have an impact on hundreds of thousands of Daimler vehicles, including the popular C-class and E-class Mercedes-Benz sold in Britain.
In 2015 alone, 145,254 Mercedes-Benz cars were sold in the UK, up from 124,419 the previous year - the vast majority of them being diesel engines.
The reputation of diesel cars was hit by the admission by Daimler's competitor Volkswagen in 2015. It had equipped vehicles with illegal software that meant they passed emissions tests, only to exceed limits in everyday driving.
Our assessment is that, there is a strong movement to invest more in clean diesel technology. The industry has already invested more than 3 billion dollars in research and development. The future of diesel engines, however, are not very clear.