EU Probes VW, BMW, Daimler Over Alleged Emissions Collusion
September 18, 2018—EU antitrust regulators are investigating whether BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen colluded to restrict the rollout of clean emission technology, reported Reuters.
The European Commission opened an in-depth investigation on Tuesday, nearly a year after it raided the companies and two years after it slapped a record $3.4 billion fine on a group of truck makers including Daimler for fixing prices and delaying the adoption of cleaner engine technology.
The EU executive said the “circle of five” - BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen Group’s VW, Audi and Porsche - held meetings where they may have colluded to limit the development and roll-out of certain emissions control systems for cars sold in Europe, according to the report.
The Commission said the technologies involved were selective catalytic reduction systems, which reduce nitrogen oxides from diesel car emissions, and “Otto” particulate filters that reduce particulate matter emissions from petrol cars.
According to Reuters, the EU antitrust enforcer said the carmakers had also discussed other technical issues, such as common requirements for car parts and testing procedures, but it did not have sufficient indications that these meetings were anti-competitive.
It also said there were no signs that the companies illegally coordinated with each other in the use of so-called defeat devices to cheat regulatory testing. Volkswagen admitted to using such illegal software in 2015, sparking a scandal that has cost it more than $27 billion in penalties and fines.