Toronto, Ontario — Regulators in Germany have opened an investigation into alleged exhaust gas manipulation by BMW following claims of illegal diesel defeat device use.
Germany’s federal transport authority, the Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt (KBA) is specifically investigating a software program from the BMW X3 2.0d, a model fitted with a turbocharged 2.0L diesel 4-cylinder engine used across the German automaker’s lineup.
BMW is alleged to have manipulated the action of the emission control unit by optimizing the filtering of exhaust gases during test conditions to provide the BMW X3 2.0d with a much lower emission certification than achievable in on-road conditions.
The KBA investigation was opened following earlier research carried out by German environmental group Deustch Umwelt Hife (DUH), which said that the automaker was using an illegal defeat device to emit significantly lower nitrogen oxide emissions when, among other factors, the air conditioning unit of vehicles was switched off.
Switching off the air conditioning during testing is a common practice among automakers, though in BMW’s case, it is claimed to have had a much more significant effect on lowering emissions than that detected from other automakers.
This significant difference from other automakers has led to the suspicion that BMW is further linked to the impermissible altering of the emission control unit.
Volkswagen Group, Mercedes-Benz and Stellantis have all been found guilty of using illegal defeat devices to manipulate emissions during certification testing.
BMW has so far denied the DUH claims, but is working with the KBA in an attempt to clear allegations.
The automaker says it will not provide any details or comments while the KBA investigation is still ongoing, although reports indicate BMW is attempting to dismiss the matter as a “production defect.”
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