Daimler boss criticizes VW over emissions scandal

Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Mercedes Benz Chairman of the Board of Management, speaks at the Mercedes-Benz new E-Class introduction prior to the opening of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit January 10, 2016. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

BERLIN (Reuters) - An emissions scandal like the one engulfing Volkswagen would not be possible at Daimler, Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche said on Thursday in an unusual dig at another carmaker.

In general, he does not criticize competitors, Zetsche said at a reception in the German capital.

“But with the VW affair, there is nothing else to do,” he said, because the scandal affected the whole auto sector.

Volkswagen has admitted using software to conceal the level of toxic emissions from some of its diesel vehicles in the United States and faces billions of dollars in claims from owners of vehicles with similar software around the world.

The scandal has caused concern in Germany that the image of its powerful auto sector has been tarnished and also raised questions about diesel technology which German carmakers have invested in recent years.

Taking aim at the corporate culture at Volkswagen, Zetsche said such manipulation would not be able to happen at Daimler.

“I am very confident that if anyone had this kind of idea with us, this person would very quickly find someone else who would say ‘we don’t want it like that, and we will not do it like that’.”

Zetsche also said Daimler was sticking to diesel technology and urged the European Commission to quickly decide how to measure emissions in future.

France’s Renault said earlier that fraud investigators had inspected three of its sites in an emissions probe, news that wiped billions off its market value in an echo of the scandal engulfing German rival Volkswagen.

Reporting by Andreas Rinke; Writing by Madeline Chambers; Editing by Mark Potter