Mercedes and Stellantis hit with fines for altering emissions data

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Mercedes and Stellantis hit with fines for altering emissions data

A Mercedes-Benz Korea dealership in Gangnam District, southern Seoul [NEWS1]

A Mercedes-Benz Korea dealership in Gangnam District, southern Seoul [NEWS1]

 
Mercedes-Benz Korea and Stellantis Korea were hit with fines for fabricating emissions data.  
 
The Ministry of Environment levied a fine of 4.3 billion won ($3.6 million) on Mercedes-Benz Korea, announcing it found that the carmaker altered emissions for four diesel vehicle model sold from 2013 to 2018 — the G350d, E350d, E350d 4Matic and CLS 350d 4Matic.  
 
The four vehicles were advertised to meet Euro 6 standards for nitrogen oxide emissions.  
 
The ministry said the company manipulated selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems to spray less diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) as they were driven further by customers. DEF is injected into the exhaust stream to break down nitrogen oxides and lower emissions.  
 
In a road driving test conducted by the National Institute of Environmental Research from August last year, the cars were found to emit nitrogen oxide at levels eight times the limit for the Euro 6 certification level of 0.08 grams per kilometer.  
 
In May last year, Mercedes-Benz Korea was fined 77.6 billion won by the Ministry of Environment for falsifying nitrogen oxide emissions for 12 diesel cars.  
 
Stellantis Korea on Wednesday was hit with a fine of 1.2 billion won for faking emissions tests carried out on Jeep Cherokees and Fiat Freemonts sold from 2013 through 2015. The two were said to satisfy Euro 5 certification, which is more lenient than Euro 6.
 
According to the ministry, the performance of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) systems — diesel car systems that lower nitrogen oxide emissions — on the automaker’s cars were altered to become less effective. Nine times more nitrogen oxide was actually emitted from the vehicles than the certification of 0.18 grams per kilometer.  
 
The Environment Ministry will cancel the certifications for all the diesel models, forbidding further sales of the cars in Korea and making the two companies recall what they’ve sold — 2,508 for Mercedes-Benz Korea and 2,246 for Stellantis Korea. The companies may face criminal charges as well.  
 
Both companies must submit their recall plan within 45 days.  

BY LEE TAE-HEE [lee.taehee2@joongang.co.kr]
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