German car maker Daimler could be forced to recall 774,00 vehicles across Europe and fit them with new software because of fears they may currently be programmed to trick emissions tests.

The possibility of a Europe-wide recall was raised after the German government ordered Daimler to recall 238,000 vehicles in Germany and fit them with new software.

Elżbieta Bieńkowska, European Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry Entrepreneurship and SMEs, tweeted: “We need mandatory recalls in all 28 EU member states. Other countries should follow quickly.”

According to the German transport ministry, the diesel versions of the Mercedes C-Class, Vito and GLC models are the main ones affected.

German transport minister Andreas Scheuer said the ministry had ordered the immediate recall of Daimler models in Germany because they contained illegal shutdown devices.

“Daimler states that it will, at maximum speed and with co-operative transparency with the authorities, remove the applications in the engine control system which the government objects to,” he said.

Daimler would only confirm the recall in Germany and said the legality of the software still needed to be clarified.