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An unnamed government official in Germany has reportedly revealed that Volkswagen, Porsche, Audi, Opel and Mercedes-Benz will be recalling a total of 630,000 diesel-powered vehicles in the country to rectify their emissions management software.

According to Automotive News, it was said that after stringent investigations, only Volkswagen-owned car brands were found to be equipped with illegal defeat devices, while other manufacturers were believed to be to be taking advantage of a legal loophole in the system. The legal workaround is said to involve car makers “throttling down emissions treatments under certain circumstances,” such as to protect its diesel engines from wear and tear.

However, a strict clampdown by the German authorities on vehicles with high levels of harmful exhaust emissions has led to the the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) questioning if the exploitation of this loophole by car makers was justifiable and necessary. The report added that BMW was not involved.

“The question is whether this number is just the start or if there will be more,” said Stefan Bratzel, director of the Centre of Automotive Management at the University of Applied Sciences in Bergisch, Germany. “What’s clear is that there are legal tricks the whole industry is using. That might be legal, but it’s not a legitimate thing to do, and shines a negative light on the industry as a whole.”

To clarify, only Volkswagen-owned car brands are known to feature illegal defeat devices that manipulate the results of official emissions tests. This is by the company’s own admission, with legal proceedings already resulting in the millions of recalls around the world.

What’s new here is that Mercedes-Benz and Opel will reportedly issue recalls for its diesel-powered vehicles — not because they are equipped with emissions manipulating devices, but for taking advantage of a legal loophole in the system. The total number of vehicles involved specific to each brand was not mentioned.

In a separate but similar issue, Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, released an official statement last week saying that the US Department of Justice had requested it to conduct an internal investigation regarding its certification process related to exhaust emissions in the United States. The car maker complied. “Daimler is cooperating fully with the authorities. Daimler will consequently investigate possible indications of irregularities and of course take all necessary actions,” it said.