VW Scandal Threatens to Ensnare BMW as EU Urges Wider Probe

24 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

BMW disputes report its X3 also failed emissions test.

The ongoing scandal at Volkswagen widened today to include another automaker, as BMW denied a report in a German magazine that its X3 sport utility vehicle also failed an emissions test, reportedly spewing out 11 times the legal level of pollutants while in operation. German luxury carmaker BMW has been dragged into the emissions testing scandal that has engulfed Volkswagen, with its shares falling sharply after a report that some of its diesel cars exceeded emissions standards. On Wednesday, Volkswagen’s CEO Martin Winterkorn resigned following the company’s confession that 11 million of its vehicles are loaded with software designed to subvert emissions tests.

Auto Bild, the auto magazine, said Thursday that BMW’s X3 xDrive 20d SUV, which runs on diesel, emitted levels of nitrogen oxide in standardized conditions that were 11 times more than what’s allowed by the European Union. ET following Auto Bild magazine’s report that the International Council on Clean Transportation had discovered curiously high emissions on the BMW X3 crossover vehicle. BMW denied the report, saying while it was not aware of the ICCT’s specific tests, it did not “manipulate or rig any emissions tests,” the automaker said in a statement. “We observe the legal requirements in each country and adhere to all local testing requirements. The news comes after an ICCT investigation conducted in cooperation with West Virginia University researchers uncovered irregularities in the emissions performance of Volkswagen diesel cars.

When it comes to our vehicles, there is no difference in the treatment of exhaust emissions whether they are on [a test] or on the road.” BMW shares lost almost 10 per cent before recovering somewhat, but late in the trading day in Frankfurt BMW shares were off by about seven per cent, at €74.20 (about $112 Cdn). It said there had been no manipulation of emission tests, and that its vehicle exhaust systems do not distinguish between testing and the road environment. For its part, the board at Volkswagen says it will on Friday name a successor to ex-CEO Martin Winterkorn, who resigned yesterday, but it will also start naming names of people who bear responsibility for the emissions scandal, Reuters reported, citing unnamed sources familiar with the situation.

In a report earlier this month, ICCT said that on-road testing of 32 European diesel cars from 10 automakers found that the average vehicle was generating NOx emissions at twice the regulatory limit. German transport minister Alexander Dobrindt has asked the federal motor transport authority to assess all VW diesel cars – but not those of other carmakers.

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