Volkswagen has been caught with their fingers in the cookie jar a few days ago. They cheated on diesel emission tests and created a solution which allows their models to achieve smaller emission levels. This allowed their diesel engine powered models to provide a better eco-friendly emission level, adding to their popularity in United State. While this situation was reported by both us and seemingly thousands of other websites, a small, rather worrying report for BMW came out a few days ago as well.
According to a report by Auto Bild, the somewhat similar situation happened with a few BMW models, namely the BMW X3. They have reported of similar, higher emission levels recorded on the tests done by third-party organization, but it seems it was all an exaggeration. Auto Bild has published a clarification of their article released on 24 September concerning the emissions of a BMW X3: “No evidence of emission manipulation by BMW (…) The values mentioned in the document were only generated in a single, one hour-long road test. Auto BILD has no access to the details of this test trail, which might explain the discrepancies to the test cycle NEDC.”
While the statement from Auto Bild has been rescinded, BMW felt there was a need to address the situation and issue thoroughly and we bring you the full statement below.
The BMW Group does not manipulate or rig any emissions tests. We observe the legal requirements in each country and fulfill all local testing requirements. In other words, our exhaust treatment systems are active whether rolling on the test bench or driving on the road.
Clear, binding specifications and processes are in place through all phases of development at the BMW Group in order to avoid wrongdoing.
Two studies carried out by the ICCT have confirmed that the BMW X5 and 13 other BMW vehicles tested comply with the legal requirements concerning NOx emissions. No discrepancies were found in the X5 between laboratory-test and field-test NOx emissions.
Auto Bild has published a clarification of their article released on 24 September concerning the emissions of a BMW X3: “No evidence of emission manipulation by BMW (…) The values mentioned in the document were only generated in a single, one hour-long road test. Auto BILD has no access to the details of this test trail, which might explain the discrepancies to the test cycle NEDC.”
We are willing to discuss our testing procedures with the relevant authorities and to make our vehicles available for testing at any time.
The importance of diesel engines in achieving CO2 targets
Policymakers worldwide, and in particular in the European Union, are setting tough standards for CO2 and other emissions. The 2020 targets in Europe can only be fulfilled through extensive use of modern diesel engines and further electrification.
The progress achieved so far in CO2 reduction in Europe is largely due to the use of diesel technology. Meeting future requirements will not be feasible without diesel drive trains, since a diesel engine emits roughly 15 to 20 per cent less CO2 on average than a comparable petrol engine.
At the BMW Group, we have invested a great deal in recent years in refining and optimising diesel technology as part of our EfficientDynamics program.
At BMW, diesel vehicles accounted for 38% of vehicles sold worldwide last year: Europe 80%; Germany 73%; US 6%. This represents approx. 20,000 vehicles in the US in 2014.
The Euro 6 emissions standard, which took effect on 1 September 2015 and is binding for all new vehicle registrations, improves both environmental and consumer protection.
To bridge the gap between test results and real-life fuel consumption and emissions, the European Union is working on a new test cycle (WLTP) and an emissions test for real driving situations, known as “real driving emissions” or RDE. We support the swift introduction of the new regulations to create clarity for consumers and the industry as quickly as possible.