European Union investigating diesel collusion among Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, VW

Jul 25, 2017, 11:43
European Union investigating diesel collusion among Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, VW

Germany's Spiegel newspaper reported on a "secret cartel of the German auto makers" on Friday, alleging that Volkswagen, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Porsche colluded in a range of areas including the most cost effective ways to meet emissions standards.

Volkswagen and Daimler have declined to comment since the news broke Friday.

News magazine Der Spiegel dropped the bombshell on Friday, citing a letter it said Volkswagen had written to German antitrust officials last summer in which it admitted to possible anti-competitive behavior.

It could take months, or perhaps even some years for the European Commission to finish its probe into a possible cartel among five German carmakers.

BMW has "categorically rejected" reports that the emissions treatment systems in its vehicles do not work effectively and that it colluded with rivals on designs.

The scandal comes as automakers wrestle with an unprecedented technology shift in the industry, with electronic cars made by Tesla or Toyota finding more buyers and German manufacturers trying to catch up with the battery-powered vehicle trend.

German news magazine Der Spiegel reports today that the country's auto industry "has been discussing the technology, costs, suppliers and even the exhaust gas purification of its diesel vehicles in secret working circles".

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The discussions began in the 1990s and involved more than 200 employees in 60 working groups in areas including vehicle development, petrol and diesel motors, brakes and transmissions. However, Der Spiegel reported that the four automakers agreed to use smaller rather than larger tanks in order to cut costs.

Industry analyst Arndt Ellinghorst said that there could be many more fixes to come.

Automakers who intentionally breach or manipulate emissions levels are now subjected to a fine worth up to 10 billion won for each model, according to the law revised in July 2016, a move came on the back of the Volkswagen's emissions scandal.

German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported Monday that Daimler AG at least partially withdrew from secret meetings with other carmakers which it deemed problematic with view to competition law.

'All other carmakers will follow and offer improvements to the engine management software'.

In a move to woo customers, German carmaker giant Audi is offering free software upgrade for its diesel cars to improve emissions.

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