Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler has been ordered by the German government to recall 238,000 vehicles because they were found containing “defeat devices”.
A “defeat device” is hardware or software that interferes with emissions controls under real-world driving conditions.
Daimler has rejected any wrongdoing and said it will fix the software in the cars causing the problem.
The diesel models of the Mercedes C-Class, Vito and GLC are the among the vehicles affected.
German transport minister Andreas Scheuer said: “Daimler states that it will, at maximum speed and with co-operative transparency with the authorities, remove the applications in the engine control system which the government objects to,”
The ministry said that around 774,000 vehicles are affected across the whole of Europe.
Arndt Ellinghorst, an analyst with Evercore ISI in London, was quoted by the BBC as saying: “The criticised software is part of engine management and so called auxiliary emissions control devices”
He added, “We don’t see any evidence that Daimler was designing software to deliberately cheat on emission testing,”
The recall comes three years after the Volkswagen diesel-engine scandal in which 11 million vehicles were affected. Volkswagen admitted to wrongdoing and faces around 26 billion euros ($31 billion) in fines.