Daimler Investigates Diesel Emissions as Quarterly Profit Slumps

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Department of Justice to investigate the certification process of its diesel cars. emissions standards when run at cooler temperatures is "baseless," Chief Financial Officer Bodo Uebber said Friday on a conference call.

The investigation cast a further cloud over Daimler as the automaker got off to a slow start to the year, reporting an 8.5 percent drop in first quarter earnings due to the cost of rolling out the upgraded E Class sedan.

Car pollution levels are being more closely monitored following the Volkswagen AG diesel cheating scandal,
discount ray bans. Mitsubishi Motors Corp. admitted this week that it manipulated fuel economy tests. PSA Group said late Thursday that its premises in France were searched by government fraud investigators.

"The investigation may be procedural,
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Profit RevivalDaimler’s earnings before interest and taxes from ongoing business declined to 2.68 billion euros ($3.03 billion) in the first quarter from 2.93 billion euros a year earlier on the impact from the revamped E Class. The company forecast in early April that profit growth will revive later this year as more customers buy the new sedan, the luxury division’s most important model. The new E Class came out in March.

Daimler has been under pressure after a Mercedes owner in Illinois filed suit two months ago claiming that Mercedes’s diesel models violated emissions standards. The suit alleges the automaker uses a device in its BlueTec cars to turn off a system meant to reduce polluting nitrogen oxides in its exhaust. Daimler on Friday called the class actions "without merit."

The investigation comes as Daimler’s luxury unit Mercedes Benz is poised to overtake BMW as the world’s biggest maker of luxury cars. The return on sales at the Mercedes Benz Cars unit, which also includes the Smart city car brand, narrowed to 7 percent in the quarter from 9.4 percent a year earlier.

Earnings at the truck division,
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The pace of growth in operating earnings will rise slightly this year, following a 37 percent surge to a record 13.8 billion euros in 2015, Daimler said Friday.

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