BMW has hit back at suggestions it colluded with other European manufacturers on diesel emissions.
German magazine Der Spiegel said last Friday that engineers from BMW, Mercedes, Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche had been meeting together since the early 1990s to control costs of components and discuss diesel emissions legislation.
The statement emphatically states that BMW’s diesel engines comply with ‘respective legal requirements’, and covers in great detail the reports that the manufacturers discussed AdBlue and diesel emissions treatment systems, without addressing the allegations that meetings between the manufacturers constituted a cartel to control costs and manipulate the industry.
The BMW statement does quietly admit that meetings between engineers took place, saying: ‘From a BMW Group perspective, the objective of discussions with other manufacturers concerning AdBlue tanks was the installation of the required tanking infrastructure in Europe.’
The BMW statement in full:
Due to current media reports, the BMW Group considers it has become necessary to make its position regarding recent allegations clear.
As a matter of principle: BMW Group vehicles are not manipulated and comply with respective legal requirements. Of course this also applies to diesel vehicles. Confirmation of this is provided by the results of relevant official investigations at the national and international level.
The BMW Group categorically rejects accusations that Euro 6 diesel vehicles sold by the company do not provide adequate exhaust gas treatment due to AdBlue tanks that are too small.
Technology employed by the BMW Group is clearly differentiated from other systems in the market. We compete to provide the best exhaust treatment systems: unlike other manufacturers, BMW Group diesel vehicles employ a combination of various components to treat exhaust emissions. Vehicles which use urea injection with AdBlue (SCR) to treat exhaust emissions also employ a NOx-storage catalytic converter. With this combination of technologies, we fulfil all legal emissions requirements and also achieve a very good real-life emissions performance. This means there is no need to recall or upgrade the software of BMW Group Euro 6 diesel passenger cars.
In addition, the combination of both systems, together with exhaust-gas recirculation, requires a lower level of AdBlue injection and leads to a very low AdBlue consumption in comparison to other manufacturers. This enables an optimized tank size while also achieving very low emissions in real-driving conditions. Furthermore, BMW Group diesel vehicles have a simple refill solution through the tank lid or engine hood, depending on the model. BMW Group customers are informed by the vehicle in good time and repeatedly concerning a low AdBlue fill level. If this is ignored, the vehicle eventually prevents operation.
From a BMW Group perspective, the objective of discussions with other manufacturers concerning AdBlue tanks was the installation of the required tanking infrastructure in Europe.
In addition, the BMW Group confirms its commitment to conduct a voluntary software upgrade of suitable Euro 5 diesel passenger cars at no cost to customers. This upgrade incorporates knowledge gained in the field over the last years to realize further improvements in emissions. We deem this to be a part of a comprehensive and joint plan of measures involving municipalities and the industry, to further improve inner-city air quality without across-the-board driving bans, within the context of the “Diesel Summit” on 2 August 2017.