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German authority finds unauthorized defeat devices in BMW diesel cars

In Europe
February 21, 2024

The German motoring authority has identified illegal defeat devices in some BMW Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs), although the manufacturer says the cars affected were made before 2014.

The German Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) has found unauthorized defeat devices for exhaust emissions in some BMW diesel cars, the KBA said on its website.

BMW said in Germany, this affects some 33,000 X3 SUV models. Throughout Europe, BMW estimates 100,000 to 150,000 vehicles could be affected, a company spokesman said on Wednesday.

However, BMW does not know how many of the vehicles are still on the roads, as the watchdog has only issued data concerning Germany so far.

BMW is cooperating with the authorities and has submitted a set of measures for hardware and software updates, according to the KBA.

The exhaust gas recirculation in the vehicles is reduced when the air conditioning is switched on, the KBA said.

In addition, the reduction also takes effect when outside temperatures are within the normal operating range, meaning these are inadmissible according to European Court of Justice (ECJ) rulings, the KBA said.

Lowering the effectiveness of the vehicles’ pollutant reduction against nitrogen oxides is illegal, the authority noted.

After the VW diesel scandal, car manufacturers long argued that limiting exhaust gas purification to a certain thermal window was necessary to protect the engine, saying otherwise the engine could be damaged.

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