BMW shares fell by nearly ten percent immediately after Auto Bild’s report was published, the biggest drop recorded in four years. The European standard took effect September 1.
In a detailed report, BMW claimed that there was no difference in the urea exhaust gas treatment when either on the road or on the test bench. “Clear, binding specifications and processes are in place through all phases of development at the BMW Group in order to avoid wrongdoing“. “No specific details of the test have yet been provided and therefore we can not explain these results”, BMW said. It is obvious that all carmakers will now come under scrutiny, although German ones even more so. Additionally, the report did not indicate discrepancies between lab and field tests, which was the case with Volkswagen. The German Green party says ministers were aware of problems this summer, but didn’t act. The new test is meant to bridge the gap between testing and real-life driving. That makes European standard about two and a half times as lax as the American one, although it must be noted they run different test cycles.
Carmakers in Europe argue that diesel cars are essential to achieving a mandatory European Union target of reducing average carbon dioxide emissions from new passenger cars to 95 grams per kilometre by 2020.
“The results indicate that the implementation of nitrogen-oxides control technologies by a few manufacturers is delivering acceptable results over both cycles”, Vicente Franco, an global Council on Clean Transportation researcher, said after the study.
ICCT also found a gap between real-world and lab performance in BMWs X3, Germanys Autobild magazine reported.
Volkswagen was challenged by authorities as far back as 2014 over tests showing emissions exceeded California state and US federal limits, but held off admitting wrongdoing until regulators threatened to withhold certification for its 2016 diesel models. Volkswagen A.G. said it will voluntarily submit a complaint to German officials to launch a criminal investigation.
VWs supervisory board will discuss the Winterkorns replacement on Friday following the CEOs abrupt resignation Wednesday.
But some analysts are skeptical that will be enough, with the company disclosing that 11 million of its cars were fitted with Type EA 189 engines that had shown a “noticeable deviation” in emission levels between testing and road use.
According to the Spartanburg County factory website, the facility produced 11,678 X3 vehicles in July, second in production to the X5. What happens in Europe is vital as Europe accounts for about three-quarters of sales of diesel cars worldwide.
“The story has sent shock waves through the auto market, with dealers in the United States reporting people holding back from buying diesel cars and “#dieselgate” trending on Twitter.
In a statement, BMW insisted it does not manipulate or rig any emissions tests, adding, “We observe the legal requirement in each country and adhere to all local testing requirements”.
“We support the swift introduction of the new regulations to create clarity for consumers and the industry as quickly as possible”, the company said.