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A German newspaper ‘Bild am Sonntag’ has published a report revealing the German automotive giant, Mercedes-Benz may have used emissions manipulation software in its vehicles. This includes Mercedes Benz lease vehicles that company has been leasing in the UK. The report is contained in a US department of Justice investigation and it claims some shocking news. Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes Benz lease operations is alleged to have used computer programs that allowed unspecified diesel models to pass US emissions tests. The company is alleged to use software which manipulates the engine and its selective catalytic reduction filters.

The software programs are alleged to have been tailored and customized to meet the demands of various cycles in the testing procedure in the US. The manipulation allows the diesel engines of cars to run in a very clean state for limited periods of time and the car switches to its ‘dirty mode’ afterwards. The software is believed to be something similar to the one used by Volkswagen which caused the famous ‘Dieselgate scandal’ back in 2015.

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According to the information obtained by Bild am Sonntag, included among the software programs alleged to have been developed for diesel-powered Mercedes-Benz models is the “Bit 13” function. It sees the diesel engine switch to “dirty mode” once it emits 16 grams of NOx. This corresponds, it says, to the duration of the US highway test cycle.

Also suspected of being used is the “Bit 14” software function. It switches the engine to “dirty mode” under certain temperatures and preset periods of time. This function is allegedly particularly suited to allowing cars to pass the FTP-75 warm test cycle.

Another software function called “Bit 15” is claimed to have been used during the US06 test cycle. It is programmed to switch off the SCR exhaust gas after-treatment system after 16 miles.

Bild says US investigators have also uncovered a further suspicious software function within the control system of various Mercedes-Benz models. Called Slipguard, it reportedly detects when the car is being tested on a rolling road and is claimed to influence the dosage of urea-based AdBlue solution within the SCR exhaust gas after-treatment system.

Author: Greg Kable

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