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VW Scandal Grows: BMW Under Fire As The EU Investigates Automakers

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Steve Birr Vice Reporter
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The European Union is calling on its member countries to investigate diesel engines across the auto industry, following the Volkswagen scandal that could affect BMW next.

Bloomberg reports that Volkswagen’s emissions cheating software may be a more widespread practice among automakers, with BMW’s X3 sport allegedly emitting, “more than 11 times the European limit for air pollution in a road test.”

BMW’s shares dropped Thursday following this report, down almost 7 percent on the news. Germany’s transport ministry announced Thursday that it would be conducting “spot checks” of diesel engine vehicles, according to Bloomberg, in light of the growing controversy that began with Volkswagen. The ACEA, a lobbying group representing the European auto industry, said in a statement Wednesday that “there is no evidence this is an industry-wide issue.”

Fox News reports that German ministers may have been aware of Volkswagen’s “defeat devices,” and turned a blind eye. According to reports, Oliver Krischer, a German green party leader, said the “government told us in July that it knew about this software, which has been used in the U.S.A.”

The International Council on Clean Transportation published a study last October, showing that a test of 15 diesel engine cars were, “an average of about seven times higher than European limits,” Bloomberg reports. The group also noted, “a gap between real-world and lab performance in BMW’s X3.”

While BMW has yet to be officially accused of any wrongdoing, the news certainly does not bode well for the company and the greater auto industry in the wake of the Volkswagen scandal. VW CEO Martin Winterkorn resigned yesterday following a brutal few days for the company’s share price. Volkswagen leaders will be meeting on Friday to discuss his replacement.

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