As a preventive measure, and to avoid a similar fate as to what has befallen fellow German car maker Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz has issued a voluntary recall for more than three million diesel-engined vehicles in Europe. The recall will inspect every diesel vehicle to ensure it complies with Euro 5 and Euro 6 rules through the use of a software patch.

Due to begin in upcoming weeks, the Mercedes diesel vehicle recall involves its compact-class models as well as the V-class people mover. Mercedes indicated that compact-class cars will show an improvement in NOx emissions for one engine version with approximately 45% of those cars being updated.

For the V-Class, about 75% of vehicles in Germany have been recalled and checked. The action is being conducted at no cost to Mercedes diesel owners, with a budget of 220 million euro (RM1.08 billion) being set aside for this purpose.

The diesel recall began in March, with owners being notified to bring their vehicles in for checking at authorised Mercedes service centres. The current plan sees a substantial expansion of the recall for vehicles in customers’ hands as well as a rapid market launch of a completely new diesel engine family.

“The public debate about diesel engines is creating uncertainty – especially for our customers. We have therefore decided on additional measures to reassure drivers of diesel cars and to strengthen confidence in diesel technology,” said Dr Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.

With an investment of approximately 3 billion euros (RM14.82 billion), Mercedes has developed a new generation of diesels with emissions tested and confirmed by third party laboratories. Following the market launch of the new four-cylinder OM 654 engine in the new E-Class in 2016, the new diesel family will be implemented rapidly across its entire model portfolio.