Daimler halts truck engine deliveries on emissions concerns

Daimler is under scrutiny over how its diesel car engines use a urea nitrate additive called AdBlue, to neutralize emissions of nitrogen oxide, which can contribute to the formation of harmful smog and ozone. (Reuters)
Updated 08 July 2018
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Daimler halts truck engine deliveries on emissions concerns

FRANKFURT: Germany’s Daimler has temporarily halted deliveries of a truck engine after finding that, in certain driving conditions, its emissions of nitrogen oxide (NOx) could exceed legal limits, the company said on Sunday.
Stuttgart-based Daimler, responding to a report in the Bild am Sonntag newspaper, said it had informed Germany’s Federal Motor Transport Authority of the issue last month and was in a “constructive” dialogue.
German automakers have been under intense scrutiny since the “Dieselgate” scandal of 2015, in which Volkswagen admitted to using illegal software steering its diesel engines to cheat emissions tests.
Volkswagen reached a multi-billion-dollar settlement in the United States, but the scandal continues to reverberate in Germany where the head of its Audi unit, Rupert Stadler, has been arrested in a separate investigation.
Daimler is also under scrutiny over how its diesel car engines use a urea nitrate additive, called AdBlue, to neutralize emissions of nitrogen oxide, which can contribute to the formation of harmful smog and ozone.
Germany’s Transport Ministry said last month that 774,000 Mercedes-Benz vehicles in Europe had been found to contain unauthorized “defeat” devices and ordered Daimler to recall 238,000 cars in Germany.
In the latest case, Bild am Sonntag reported that Daimler had found during internal checks that software running the OM 501 truck engine would, in certain circumstances, stop the injection of AdBlue.
In a statement, Daimler said the report was misleading and that the engine’s on-board diagnosis system was designed to switch off the flow of AdBlue in unusual circumstances such as when the engine was running on biodiesel.
This would prevent excessive injections of AdBlue leading to the release of ammonia, which in high concentrations can act as a respiratory irritant.
“In the course of regulator tests, Daimler AG found isolated situations when a six-cylinder heavy-truck engine of the Euro V standard slightly exceeded the relevant NOx limits,” the company said.
Daimler said it had undertaken a detailed analysis of the findings and informed the Federal Motor Transport Authority at the end of June.
The motor was sold in Mercedes-Benz trucks in Europe until 2013, and is currently on sale only outside Europe. “Until the technical issues are clarified, the company has taken a precautionary decision no longer to deliver this engine,” Daimler said.


RBI board meets amid row with government, Indian markets on guard

Updated 2 min 5 sec ago
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RBI board meets amid row with government, Indian markets on guard

MUMBAI, India: A Reserve Bank of India board meeting began on Monday with investors waiting to see if central bank and government policymakers could bridge differences over several key issues.
Top government officials and one independent director have pressed the RBI to ease lending and capital rules for banks, provide more liquidity to the shadow banking sector, support lending to small businesses and to let the government use more of the RBI’s surplus reserves to boost the economy.
Unhappy over the pressure, RBI Deputy Governor Viral Acharya had warned that undermining central bank independence could be “catastrophic.”
The very public row led to speculation that RBI Governor Urjit Patel might resign, though officials have since sought to dampen such talk.
On Monday, the Business Standard newspaper cited unnamed sources saying the RBI might agree at the board meeting to remove some banks from a so-called prompt corrective action plan as the government has made commitments to recapitalize them soon.
The corrective action plan has led to sharp slowdown in lending in 11 state-owned banks.
With nothing emerging from the meeting so far financial markets showed little movement.
The 10-year benchmark bond yield was at 7.81 percent compared with 7.82 at Friday’s close, while the Indian rupee was at 71.89 per dollar versus 71.92 on Friday. The broader NSE stock index was little changed at 0.3 percent.
Investors were on guard against any resurrection of the row between the central bank and government officials, but few were expecting fireworks as both sides have tried to dispel fears of a more serious falling out.
That has left traders still anxious to see how far the central bank might be ready to compromise to meet the government’s demands.
“Foreign investors will wait to get some cues from today’s meeting on the extent to which the central bank is autonomous, but it will be good for bond markets in the short-term if the RBI gives in to the government’s demand for more liquidity,” said a dealer at a foreign bank.
The board meeting was specially convened to followthrough on its last meeting on Oct 23, otherwise such meetings seldom draw attention as they typically focus on standard discussions on macro-economic variables.