The BMW Group is one of the world’s most popular manufacturers of luxury vehicles. Its four major brands – Rolls-Royce, MINI, the BMW Motorrad, and BMW – rake in millions every year. The company prides itself in encouraging responsible action and ecological sustainability.
However, not too long ago, the carmaker found itself in the hot seat for getting involved in the Dieselgate diesel emissions scheme. In 2018, BMW was implicated in the scandal after it allegedly reduced emissions artificially using defeat devices.
These defeat devices were similar to the ones that US authorities found in Volkswagen and Audi diesel vehicles in September 2015, when the Dieselgate scandal first broke. The devices are programmed to detect when a vehicle goes into the lab for regulatory testing and bring down emissions to within the limits that the World Health Organization (WHO) mandated. As a result, the vehicle appears clean and emissions-compliant.
However, this is only good during such tests. When the vehicle is out on real roads, it releases unlawfully high amounts of nitrogen oxide emissions. NOx is a gas that contains nitric oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), two of its main components. It forms smog, with NO2 contributing to the brown colour.
When NOx mixes and reacts with other elements, such as SO2 or sulphur dioxide and water, it creates acid rain. Breathing in the tiny particles that come from acid rain will increase the chances of developing several health conditions, such as bronchitis and other respiratory diseases. Existing health problems are worsened.
Nitrogen oxide also produces ground-level ozone, a pollutant that can weaken and destroy vegetation and can permanently damage your lungs. Other health impacts include asthma, laryngospasm, asphyxiation and cancer. NOx is also a common link in most cardiovascular cases that result in premature death. Thousands of early deaths in the past years were linked to air pollution.
Additionally, anyone who is exposed to nitrogen oxide emissions can have dementia due to weakened cognitive abilities. Depression, anxiety, and other mental health-related conditions are also linked to NOx emissions.
Volkswagen, BMW, and all the other carmakers that used defeat devices did not only deceive their customers but they also put them in harm’s way with the numerous life-changing impacts of NOx emissions.
The BMW diesel emissions scandal
After defeat devices were discovered in BMW diesel vehicles, US authorities filed a case against the carmaker. The case was brought to a New Jersey federal court and once certified, it will be classified as a class-action lawsuit. BMW’s 335D and X5 models that were sold between the years 2009 and 2020 were the focus of the litigation.
According to lawyers working on the case, the vehicles released NOx in volumes that were at least 27 times over the legal and safe standard. Thus, they weren’t only dirty and toxic; they also violated emissions regulations and shouldn’t have been on roads in the US or anywhere else in the world.
In March 2018, BMW’s Austria and Munich sites were raided by German authorities as part of their initial investigation into the carmaker’s probable use of cheat devices. Estimates placed the number of affected vehicles at around 11,000.
Despite admitting earlier that a defeat device was installed in a number of their diesel vehicles, BMW denied the allegations that they used illegal software. They did admit that they placed the right software on the wrong vehicles, which resulted in incompatibility problems.
For the case filed against them by US authorities, BMW was ordered to pay fines totalling thousands upon thousands of dollars.
BMW was also alleged to have worked with Robert Bosch GmbH and LLC in producing cheat software that hid a vehicle’s real emissions.
The BMW Group was also involved in another unlawful act. This time around, the German carmaker secretly worked with Volkswagen and Mercedes’ parent company Daimler in delaying and limiting technology being developed for cleaner emissions.
Authorities fined VW and BMW but Daimler ended up not paying anything since they revealed the presence of the cartel.
Why you should claim
The BMW Group, like Volkswagen and other carmakers in the diesel emissions scandal list, knowingly misled their customers into believing that the vehicles they purchased were high-performing and emissions-compliant. Authorities believe that carmakers should be held responsible for their actions.
Bringing an emission claim against your carmaker will also pay for the inconveniences caused by the following:
- Maintenance costs and fuel bills are higher
- Your vehicle’s market value has decreased
- Your vehicle’s overall performance is affected
- You and everyone around you are exposed to life-threatening NOx emissions
Settlement agreements between carmakers and affected drivers in the US now total over $9.8 billion (approximately £8.03 billion). Group litigation has also started in other parts of the world, including Australia and Germany.
Should I begin processing my diesel claim now?
Even if the BMW Dieselgate scandal is quite new yet, law firms expect its trajectory to follow the pattern of the Mercedes and Volkswagen emissions cases. So, it is best to start your diesel claim now.
However, your first step should be to visit Emissions.co.uk so you can verify if you are qualified to bring a claim. Once you have all the necessary details, move forward with your claim with the help of emissions experts.