Germany ordered Monday the recall of some 774,000 vehicles from Mercedes-Benz maker Daimler across Europe, citing illegal "defeat devices" designed to conceal high levels of harmful emissions from regulators' tests.
"The federal government will order an immediate official recall because of illegal defeat devices," Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer said in a statement.
The move mostly affects Vito vans and diesel-powered versions of GLC 4x4s and C-class sedans, Scheuer added.
Daimler boss Dieter Zetsche was summoned Monday for crunch talks with Scheuer over emissions irregularities in the firm's vehicles.
"Daimler says the applications in the motor control software the federal government has found fault with will be removed at the greatest possible speed and in cooperative transparency with the authorities," Scheuer said.
So-called defeat devices were at the heart of Volkswagen's "diesel gate" scandal, in which the world's largest carmaker admitted in September 2015 to installing them in 11 million vehicles worldwide.
Vehicles kept to legal emissions limits for harmful substances like nitrogen oxides during lab tests, only to exceed them as much as 40 times in on-road driving.
The scandal has so far cost the world's largest carmaker over 25 billion euros ($29.5 billion) in fines, buybacks and compensation, and senior executives are under investigation over their roles in the cheating.
Other German carmakers have also been forced to recall vehicles to fix manipulated software, although none has so far admitted to mass cheating as Volkswagen did.
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