Germany Looks to Catch Any Vehicle With Software Defeat Devices

After recalling more than 200,000 cars last week, the Transport Ministry is vigilantly working to catch all cars with software defeat devices. 

Bosch Moskau Klassik vintage car rally in Moscow
Alexander Ryumin—Alexander Ryumin/TASS

According to Germany’s transport minister Andreas Scheuer, as the country continues to monitor the auto industry for illegal software, further recalls are not out of the question, reported Reuters.

“We will continue to review the situation,” Scheuer stated to the leading German business newspaper, Handelsblatt. “It’s an ongoing monitoring of the market.”

The German Transport Ministry said 774,000 Mercedes cars were found to contain unauthorized software defeat devices last month. Reuters reported that the majority of the cars that contained the unauthorized software were Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Vito with diesel engines and a sports utility version of the GCL sedan.

Dieter Zetsche, Daimler CEO, responded to the recalls by saying that the car company found a technical solution for updating the software on its vehicles and did not expect to be hit with any fine from the ministry, according to Reuters. The solution is a pricey software update that would cost $118 million.

And Evercore ISI analyst, Arndt Ellinghorst, said there was no evidence to support that Daimler attempted to purposefully design software to cheat on emissions testing, something that Germany has been vigilant to stomp out since the infamous Deiselgate scandal. 

It's also reported that the German Transport Ministry can only recall cars within its borders or vehicles that have been issued a pan-European road-worthiness certification from German authorities. But the Ministry said it's still keeping an eye on cars made beyond its borders.

“We are checking vehicles of other manufacturer and seeing that their test values sometimes go through the roof,” Scheurer told Reuters. “But we can’t do anything because they get the approvals in their own country. That annoys me.”