German carmaker Daimler, which owns Mercedes-Benz, has agreed to pay $ 1.5 billion (£ 1.2 billion) to resolve US government claims that it designed its diesel-powered vehicles to trick air pollution tests.
The company was investigated for installing emissions evasion software on 250,000 Mercedes cars and trucks.
US officials said they hope the fine will deter future misconduct.
Daimler described the deal as an “important step” toward resolving the diesel measures, but she denied the allegations.
“By resolving these procedures, Daimler avoids lengthy court proceedings with related legal and financial risks,” the company said.
In addition to the $ 1.5 billion settlement with US authorities, Daimler said they agreed to pay $ 700 million to settle a class action lawsuit filed by the owners.
It also revealed “additional expenditures of an average value of three million euros to meet the requirements of settlements.”
Clean Air Act
The deals, which Daimler said were close last month, are wrapping up an investigation the U.S. launched in 2016, After discovering the “devices of defeat” through testing.
Officials said the $ 875 million fine included in the $ 1.5 billion settlement with authorities is the second-largest civilian penalty the United States has ever imposed under the Clean Air Act and the largest if measured on a per-vehicle basis.
Daimler has also agreed to repair the damaged cars, which were sold between 2009 and 2016, at no cost to the owners. US officials said the commitment was worth about $ 400 million.
At a news conference on Monday, Andrew Wheeler, head of the US Environmental Protection Agency, said: “The message we’re sending today is clear: We’ll enforce the law.
“If you try to deceive the system and mislead the public, you will be arrested. Those who violate the public’s trust in pursuing profits will lose both.”
Greater emissions scandal
The sanctions are the latest in a widespread scandal that has cast a shadow over the auto industry since 2015, when Volkswagen has admitted to installing secret software On cars sold in the United States.
The system allowed cars to emit up to 40 times their legally permitted emissions and avoid detection during tests.
Volkswagen later admitted that the devices have affected more than 11 million cars globally. The company has more than $ 20 billion to settle claims in the US alone.
Soon, however, the investigations expanded to other companies, including Ford, Mitsubishi, and Nissan.
In 2018, Daimler recalled more than 700,000 cars in Europe That “devices defeat” is installed. BMW and Porsche have also summoned the cars over the issue.
Fiat Chrysler was raided in Europe this summer over this issue. The company agreed to the estimate Settlement of $ 800 million To solve civil lawsuits in the United States in January.
Daimler said the US settlement was for cars that were not sold with the same specifications in Europe.