After the diesel scandal at Volkswagen became known in September 2015, Daimler boss Dieter Zetsche repeatedly asserted that Mercedes did not have any fraudulent software installed. The Ministry of Transport takes a different view.
Zetsche is said to have mocked VW in a small circle, "although you didn't know whether he was making fun of VW that got caught or whether he was actually morally outraged and convinced that he had done a clean job in his own house," reports an engineer from Mercedes car development. Others always want to have "heard a touch of malicious glee" in conversations with Zetsche.
It is clear that Dieter Zetsche has come under severe pressure after the ordered recall of over 238.000 diesel vehicles. In Europe, 775.000 vehicles are affected. In the United States, the verdict of the Federal Minister of Transport is likely to have been carefully noted, especially since Mercedes-Benz is also under investigation in the United States.
If the allegations are correct, Dr.Z.
If it turns out that Daimler diesel with Euro 6 standard is also equipped with illegal shutdown software, then things will get tight for Zetsche. However, Daimler is still convinced that it did not act illegally, but that it took advantage of the law, which allows cleaning with AdBlue to be switched off at certain temperatures. From the Ministry of Transport, however, it can be heard that "we have examined everything up and down and it is clear to us that the affected cars violate legal regulations". We would not have ordered a call back if there was even a hint of doubt about it. Daimler now wants to have this clarified in court, but cannot avoid the recall. It is clear to everyone involved that a declaratory action is likely to drag on for a long time. A legally binding determination could also only be available after December 31.12.2019, XNUMX. Until then, Dieter Zetsche is still in office as CEO.
In sneakers to the ministerial report
You could tell from his outfit that Zetsche easily took the load to the report from the Ministry 14 days ago. Loose and cool, with sneakers on his feet, he smiled as he entered the ministry. When he came out it could be seen that he was no longer in a good mood. And during his visit on June 11.6th. he also came no longer in sneakers. The fact that the public prosecutor's office in Munich had the private home of Audi boss Rupert Stadler searched almost simultaneously and now leads him as a suspect, accusing him of fraud, makes it clear that the German flagship industry must take the promise seriously. The phrase that one fully cooperates with the authorities has not been used by Volkswagen either. Especially in the United States, where a senior manager was sentenced to seven years in prison. He too had cooperated fully and even offered himself as a key witness.
Who still dares to Detroit?
What's next? A Mercedes man on the phone: “We are all excited to see who our executives not only show at US trade fairs in Detroit, Los Angeles or Las Vegas. There is a lot to be seen in this. ”The US judiciary has no regard for big names, as the Winterkorn case proves. Spurred on by Donald Trump's anti-German cars opinion-making, some prosecutors could expect political advantages to act even harder against the car guys from Germany. Although this is pure speculation, it cannot be dismissed out of hand.
In fact, the American legal system differs dramatically from ours in one point. The public prosecutor can bring charges there even if the investigation has not yet been completed. And with pre-trial detention, you are quickly at hand in the United States, especially when suspects live abroad and only visit the United States.