BMW denies manipulating or rigging emission tests

Some diesel cars of high-end automaker BMW produce risky gases that exceed European Union anti-pollution limits by up to 11 times, German weekly Auto Bild reported Thursday.


As events surrounding the undisputed charges that Volkswagen deliberately circumvented USA emissions control regulations on some of its diesel-powered vehicles, there appears to have been an opening for another diesel maker to fill the gap left behind as VW withdrew the faulty cars from the market.

Shares in BMW were down nearly 10 per cent on the report in Auto Bild that the four-wheel-drive version of the X3 emitted 11 times the legal European limit of nitrogen oxide when tested by the worldwide Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), the same group that alerted USA regulators to the discrepancy between emissions levels on Volkswagens on tests versus in real-world scenarios. “We will contact the ICCT and ask for clarification of the test they carried out”, it said in a statement.

“We observe the legal requirements in each country and adhere to all local testing requirements”. “All these data show that the problem is not specific to VW”, Peter Mock from ICCT was quoted as saying.

“The BMW group does not manipulate or rig any emissions tests”.

Volkswagen saw some colossal swings too – shares opened up 4.7%, rose to as much as 8% higher before slumping back into negative territory after the BMW story broke.

A German magazine reported on Thursday that a BMW X3 also failed an emissions test, something the automaker denies. Shares of other carmakers also declined.

A SEAT spokesperson told CNBC that some of the engines with cheating software were used on their cars but can’t specify numbers or models as the company is waiting for further details from VW. VW declined to comment.

Volkswagen’s supervisory board is due to meet Friday to discuss a successor to former CEO Martin Winterkorn, who stepped down Wednesday.

Yesterday the company’s chief executive resigned over the scandal but said he had not done anything wrong.


Mike van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets, said that reports of another major carmaker having potentially been “at it” would hardly come as a surprise. The company’s exhaust treatment systems are active whether on the test bench or on the road, he added.

BMW          Getty Images