BMW Faces Investigation Over Alleged Diesel Emissions Manipulation in Germany


Federal Transport Authority Probes BMW’s 2.0-Liter Turbodiesel Engine in Previous-Gen X3

Germany’s federal transport authority, the Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt (KBA), has initiated an investigation into BMW over suspected tampering with diesel exhaust emissions. The inquiry focuses on the previous generation of the BMW X3, specifically the variant equipped with a 2.0-liter turbodiesel engine, which was not available in the United States.

The investigation centers on allegations that BMW employed illegal tactics to manipulate emissions during testing. More precisely, attention is directed at the 2.0-liter diesel engine, which reportedly emits fewer nitrogen oxides when the air conditioning is turned off. This deviation from expected emissions patterns has raised concerns about the potential use of an intentional defeat device.

BMW has refuted the allegations, categorizing the issue as a product defect. A successful defense by BMW would likely entail addressing and rectifying the reported problems to bring affected models into compliance with emissions standards.

However, if the KBA investigation reveals intentional fraudulent practices and the use of defeat devices to circumvent regulations, BMW could face criminal and civil actions. Such findings might prompt authorities to extend their scrutiny to other BMW models using the 2.0-liter diesel engine, including the 1 Series, X1, X2, X4, 3 Series, 4 Series, and 5 Series.

A spokesperson for the KBA confirmed the ongoing investigation, stating, “It is about the suspicion of an inadmissible shutdown device in the engine control of an X3 [2.0-liter] diesel.” The emissions approvals in question were issued by the Irish Type Approval Authority, and collaborative efforts are underway with other organizations to address the matter.

This development follows the Dieselgate scandal that surfaced nearly a decade ago, where the Volkswagen Group was found to have deliberately manipulated emissions tests through the use of defeat devices, affecting millions of vehicles globally. Both BMW and Volkswagen have previously faced fines related to emissions-related issues.