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german car industry


BMW’s head office in Munich, Germany, was searched this week by EU officials investigating an alleged cartel among five German automakers, the company has confirmed.

EU investigators are looking into allegations that BMW, Daimler, VW, Audi and Porsche colluded to limit their spending on emissions technology.

The German automaker said EU staff had inspected its Munich offices, adding that it was assisting the regulators in their work.

Also on October 20, Daimler said it had filed an application for leniency.

Daimler, which owns Mercedes-Benz, also has no current plans to set aside funds for possible fines, according to its CFO Bodo Uebber.

Image source Pexels

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EU and German regulators are looking at allegations that the companies collaborated for decades on many aspects of development and production, disadvantaging customers and suppliers.

BMW said it wanted to make clear the distinction between potential violations of EU antitrust law, and the illegal manipulation of exhaust emissions, which it denies.

In July, VW defended its record after allegations that it teamed up with other German car giants to breach EU cartel rules.

Volkswagen said it was normal for manufacturers to exchange technical information to speed up innovation.

However, VW declined to comment on specific allegations that the five automakers colluded on price and technology.


Audi is offering a free software upgrade for 850,000 diesel cars in order to improve emissions.

The German auto maker said the upgrade would “improve emissions behavior in real driving conditions further beyond existing legal requirements”.

Audi added it was convinced the program would counteract possible bans on diesel cars.

Image source Wikimedia

In recent days, rivals Mercedes and Daimler issued recalls involving three million vehicles.

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The Audi recall affects cars fitted with six- and eight-cylinder diesel motors meeting the Euro 5 and Euro 6 emissions criteria, including some models made by parent company Volkswagen and sister company Porsche.

The upgrade is available for Audi cars with affected engines in Europe and other markets outside North America.

The Reuters news agency reported that German car industry officials and politicians had agreed to improve diesel vehicles’ emissions through software updates in order to avoid diesel bans in cities.