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After three profit warnings in a year, the German car giant’s new bosses need to get a grip on their seemingly endless diesel problems.

When Volkswagen AG admitted rigging diesel emission tests in September 2015, its German rival Daimler AG sounded pretty dismissive in defending the compliance of its own Mercedes-Benz vehicles. “We categorically deny the accusation of manipulating emission tests regarding our vehicles,” the luxury car giant said. “A defeat device, a function which illegitimately reduces emissions during testing, has never been and will never be used at Daimler. This holds true for both diesel and petrol engines. Our engines meet and adhere to every legal requirement.”

If Daimler shareholders concluded from that statement that the company wouldn’t have to recall any diesel vehicles, or that it wouldn’t face any financial or legal repercussions related to its diesel emissions, they’ve been sorely disappointed. On Sunday Daimler warned of a high three-digit million euro hit to profit because of provisions for “various ongoing governmental proceedings and measures relating to diesel vehicles,” without saying what these were. Group operating profit is now expected to stagnate this year.

This was Daimler’s third profit warning in 12 months and all have involved unexpected diesel costs to some extent. The shares gave up about 2 billion euros ($2.3 billion) of market value on Monday – more than twice the expected hit to profit – which suggests investors fear this won’t be the end of it.

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https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-06-24/mercedes-benz-isn-t-looking-too-reliable-these-days
 
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