Mercedes-Benz issues voluntary recall for up to 3m diesel cars in Europe for emissions fix

  • Company announces major product recall
  • Emissions of nitrogen oxides are too high
  • Up to three million cars affected 

Mercedes-Benz recalls three million cars Europe-wide

Mercedes-Benz is to voluntarily recall up to three million cars in Europe for a software fix to cut their emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx). 

The move comes at a time when carmarkers are under increasing pressure to provide accurate, reliable data about their products' harmful emissions in the wake of the dieselgate scandal that first embroiled Volkswagen in 2015. 

We contacted Mercedes-Benz for details of which cars are affected by this situation. While there's no official announcement yet, it seems all diesel models except the very latest 2.0-litre, found in the current E-Class, will be invited back to the dealership. 

It's worth noting here that this is a voluntary recall rather than one that has been legally mandated by government. 

What's involved in the Mercedes-Benz emissions fix? 

An hour-long piece of work that's relatively simple. It's effectively a software reflash of the engine's electronic control unit (ECU), and Mercedes states it will be carried out at no cost to the customer. 

We've been told it shouldn't affect performance or fuel economy on affected cars.

Which cars are affected by the Mercedes-Benz recall?

We're still waiting for confirmation at this point, but indications are that the following model ranges could be affected:

There's no word yet on other companies using Mercedes engines being affected. We contacted Infiniti, who use the 2.1-litre diesel in the Q30, QX30 and Q50 models. 

Mercedes boss: diesel is still the answer

However, bosses at Daimler, Mercedes-Benz's parent company, still believe that diesel is the way forward, and will continue to invest in the technology, wheeling out a new family of diesel engines in short order to lower emissions further. 

'The public debate about diesel engines is creating uncertainty – especially for our customers. We have therefore decided on additional measures to reassure drivers of diesel cars and to strengthen confidence in diesel technology,' stated Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.

'We are convinced that diesel engines will continue to be a fixed element of the drive-system mix, not least due to their low CO2 emissions.'

Work has already started on fixing the firm's range of compact cars affected by this issue, with 45% already done. The V-Class is also being recalled in Germany, with three quarters of cars there already receiving tweaks. This work is set to be ramped up significantly. 

Mercedes-Benz recall story