German luxury carmaker Daimler, which is being investigated for alleged diesel emission, announced a voluntary recall of more than 3 million Mercedes-Benz diesel cars in Europe. The voluntary recall comes amid widespread public debate over the future of diesel.
Daimler said it was taking the step to reassure drivers and restore confidence in the technology.
Owners of nearly every model produced by Daimler will be required to return their cars so the engines can be adjusted to decrease the number of pollutants they emit.
Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said, "The public debate about diesel engines is creating uncertainty - especially for our customers, we have therefore decided on additional measures to reassure drivers of diesel cars and to strengthen confidence in diesel technology,"
The company said it would cost 220 million euros ($254.21 million), and be free of charge for customers. "In this way, Daimler is making a significant contribution to the reduction of nitrogen-oxide emissions from diesel vehicles in European inner cities," it said in a statement.
The recall would begin in coming weeks and, "due to the large number of vehicles", take "a longer period of time".
The recall follows the launch of an investigation by the German authorities in May 2017 into charges of fraud and criminal advertising by employees of the firm relating to the potential manipulation of exhaust controls in cars with diesel engines.
Investigators believe Daimler used a similar so-called "defeat device" to Volkswagen, which in 2015 agreed about manipulating emissions readings on some 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide.
The company said it is cooperating with German authorities in the investigation of the alleged emission cheating software. Daimler said Mercedes-Benz had produced a completely new diesel engine family that could meet stringent EU emission norms to come.
Diesel vehicles have come under severe scrutiny in the recent past for its alleged higher emission levels. Automakers have been developing newer technology to reduce the carbon emissions.
Daimler has recalled diesel cars voluntarily to fix any possible diesel emission beyond permissible limits, and that's a good approach from one of most regarded car brand in the automotive world.