Germany’s federal transport authority KBA has ordered Daimler to recall hundreds of thousands of diesel vehicles for breaking emissions rules, the auto giant said Friday.
“We estimate that the recall will concern a six-digit figure,” it said, adding that it will “cooperate with the authorities”.
The KBA has ordered the recall of successive waves of Daimler vehicles in recent years as it has uncovered excessive emissions but the company has always contested involvement in the so-called “dieselgate” scandal that broke in 2015.
The recall concerns at least 260,000 “Sprinter” type vans, the company said in a statement, adding that all the vehicles were manufactured before June 2016.
The KBA had opened an investigation in early October, according to German media, suspecting the manufacturer of installing “illegal software” aimed at making the cars appear less polluting in the laboratory than they actually were.
Daimler has already recalled around 700,000 cars, including nearly 300,000 in Germany.
Investigations linked to the “dieselgate” scandal began in Germany in 2015 when Volkswagen admitted having installed illegal “defeat devices” in 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide, including 8.5 million in Europe and 600,000 in the United States.
At the end of September, Daimler said it would not contest an order from Stuttgart prosecutors to pay an 870 million euro ($957 million) fine over hundreds of thousands of diesel vehicles that breached emissions rules.
The emissions-cheating scandal has had major repercussions for the car industry since it broke four years ago.
Some cars involved spewed out up to 40 times more harmful nitrogen oxide—linked to respiratory and cardiovascular diseases—than legally allowed.
In Germany, VW, Audi and Porsche have paid fines totalling 2.3 billion euros ($2.5 billion) to settles probes into the companies.
But investigations into officials at offending carmakers have continued.