Media reports have been stirring up the Dieselgate pot, alleging Volkswagen – as well as Daimler and BMW – have been involved for decades in secret dealings akin to a cartel.
German newspaper Der Spiegel has quoted a letter sent by Volkswagen to German competition authorities and reported a new investigation has been opened into practices of Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, and Porsche. Apparently, the companies had been involved in secret meetings since the 1990s to fix the prices of diesel emissions treatment systems – among others. BMW is at the moment the only carmaker to officially react to the accusations, through an official statement.
The Bavarian company does say discussions among employees of the companies took place, though “the objective of discussions with other manufacturers concerning AdBlue tanks was the installation of the required tanking infrastructure in Europe,” and not cartel dealings. The media outlet said the secret talks were about using a smaller tank to cut cost, which made it improper for use. “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,” the company replies. The company adds “unlike other manufacturers” the diesels are “not manipulated and comply with respective legal requirements – and also achieve a very good real-life emissions performance.” But the company does recall in a voluntary campaign all Euro 5 diesel cars in Europe, to introduce “knowledge gained in the field over the last years.” Mercedes and Audi also announced similar voluntary recalls.