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July 9, 2018 2:00 PM, EDT

Daimler’s Emissions Issues Mount With Truck Engine Sale Stop

Alex Kraus/Bloomberg News

Daimler AG halted deliveries of one type of diesel engine for trucks over their emissions setup, less than a month after recalling 774,000 autos with prohibited shutoff devices.

The engines, used in Mercedes-Benz trucks, could “slightly” exceed nitrogen oxide emissions limits under certain conditions, the Stuttgart, Germany-based carmaker said. Daimler, the world’s biggest luxury carmaker, is also the biggest commercial vehicle manufacturer.

Daimler reported its findings to Germany’s Federal Motor Transport Authority at the end of June, and is in a “constructive dialog” with the watchdog. CEO Dieter Zetsche escaped costly fines following talks with Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer last month, when he agreed to upgrade the diesel emissions software in Vito vans, the GLC sport utility vehicle and C-Class sedan, escaping costly fines.

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“The engine was used in Mercedes-Benz trucks in Europe until 2013 and is currently only sold in non-European export markets,” the carmaker said in the statement. “Until the technical issues have been clarified, Daimler has decided to stop supplying this engine as a precautionary measure.”

Daimler said it’s talking to the transport authority about a software function system that prevents overdosing of AdBlue fluid in non-standard operating conditions, such as the use of bio-fuels. AdBlue is an additive that helps neutralize harmful exhaust gases.

Bild am Sonntag reported earlier on Daimler’s issues, saying that a software function “switches off the exhaust after- treatment under certain conditions.” Daimler said this claim is “misleading.” The company, facing repeated accusations its diesel engines emit excessive pollution, has denied being complicit in the kind of cheating conducted by Volkswagen AG that led to the diesel-engine crisis three years ago.

Daimler was also sued by a shareholder last month over whether the carmaker misled investors about the severity of the diesel emissions scandal.

With assistance from Elisabeth Behrmann.