Department Of Justice Goes After Mercedes-Benz For Diesel Emissions Certifications

Shares in German automaker Daimler fell more than 5% in morning trading in Frankfurt on Friday, after news emerged that the US Department of Justice asked the firm to investigate its emissions testing processes.

But investors focused the increased regulatory scrutiny Daimler is facing after it disclosed that it has launched an emissions-related investigation at the prompting of the Justice Department.

Seperately, in April, US owners of Daimler's Mercedes BlueTEC diesel cars filed a class-action lawsuit saying the vehicles contained a device used to cheat emissions tests.

Daimler said the complaints have no merit but that it is working with the authorities. The return on sales at the Mercedes-Benz Cars unit, which also includes the Smart city-car brand, narrowed to 7% in the quarter from 9.4% a year earlier.

The news of Daimler's internal probe in the USA follows Q1 results at the German carmaker showing its bottom-line profit slumped in the first three months of this year due to falling sales of two of its main model ranges.

Diesel auto makers have been in the spotlight since Volkswagen admitted in September it had rigged USA diesel emissions tests, and that up to around 11 million vehicles worldwide could have illegal software installed.

The company's shares fell on Friday. The request was originally made with "strict confidentiality" but, upon further review, Daimler chose to go public with the matter last night.

Daimler Group's first-quarter revenue amounted to 35.05 billion euros, 2% higher than 34.24 billion euros a year ago.

Global sales of Mercedes-Benz light commercial vehicles have roared ahead in the first quarter of 2016.

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