Mercedes-Benz Promise Customers A 'Voluntary Recall' To Keep Diesel Cars Performing Their Best

A move which is said to affect over 3 million models built between 2011 and 2015

From MPG figures to NOx emissions, in the last 12 months, it has become clear that a number of car manufacturers have been exaggerating or manipulating some important stats of their diesel vehicles. 

Each relevant manufacturer has dealt with this in their own unique way. The Volkswagen group were publicly called out and shamed for what the media described as ‘cheat devices’ fitted to their cars. There is currently an ongoing investigation into the PSA group, (Peugeot, Citroen, DS and Vauxhall) but that has fallen quiet since the end of April.

Put simply, it looks as though this could be an industry wide issue, as various (but not all) manufacturers have been taking shortcuts in this segment at a time where Diesel cars are coming under more scrutiny than ever before.

Interestingly, Mercedes seem to have done the honest thing for the benefit of their customers, the general public and (most importantly) the environment. Mercedes have announced a ‘voluntary recall’ on all Euro 5 and Euro 6 diesel cars that they sold between January 2011 and September 2015. 

Mercedes aren't happy with the efficiency of their cars out on the roads, so instead of waiting to be investigated or pretending the issue doesn’t exist, they are being proactive about fixing any issues in the most convenient manner for their customers.  

What exactly is the issue? 

Well, apparently the recall (which isn’t technically a recall) doesn’t involve any equipment being added or removed from the cars, there’s nothing physically wrong. The problem involves the onboard software which isn’t performing to the best of its ability.

A spokesman from Mercedes-Benz put it best: “This is not a recall – something required of Mercedes-Benz by the government and the DVSA – but a pro-active measure to ensure our diesel vehicles are as clean as they can be.

“Mercedes-Benz constantly upgrades its engines and it became apparent that there were improvements in the NOx emissions levels that we could make through a simple software update. That’s what we’re doing, not because we have to, but because we can.

“It’s part of a strategy that we hope will ensure diesel continues to be perceived as a clean fuel that has a long future ahead of it.

“I can’t say conclusively at this stage how many UK vehicles are affected but will be in excess of several hundred thousand”

Are Mercedes leading the way?

Potentially, yes. It’s no secret that various manufacturers have struggled to keep their diesel cars as clean as possible, but Mercedes have proven that a simple software update can be all that is needed to bring the car up to speed. Offering this service free of charge and at the owner’s convenience is something to appreciate and, hopefully, something the rest of the industry can emulate.

This is all a refreshing show of understanding from a premium manufacturer who will be spending near-enough £200million on making sure their cars are all performing to their best. An expensive decision that they weren’t forced to make. Bravo, Mercedes - or perhaps ‘gut gemacht!’


So what will be the penalty for the firmware update? Reduced performance? Lower MPG? The whole reason that companies had to cheat in the first place was because there is a trade-off between performance and emissions. The software cheat would reduce performance under test conditions to allow the cars to pass emission tests. It is unlikely that Mercedes have suddenly discovered some new algorithm that miraculously improve emissions without any negative affects. So come on Regit, how about some more detail to this story?

Yes a very good point. I will not be getting my Mercedes re mapped until I know the full details and impact on overall performance of this "upgrade```'

how do I know if my car needs doing it is a 16 reg??

After the VW fiasco with many complaining that the upgrade has left them with vehicles being forced in to limp home mode and dealers replacing the EGR valve to sort the problem, I won't be upgrading anytime soon.

Since mine is December 15 reg, I presume I wont be hearing from them? I wasn't aware of any changes between this and one sold 3 months earlier - but then I suppose we wouldn't!

I have a Mercedes E300 Hybrid. It is impossible to reach the performance data irrespective how I drive the car. I think that it is 64MPG in all driving conditions. I have been to busy at work to challenge this. I have though installed a diesel tuning box and I am now achieving 25% average more MPG.