As the Volkswagen emission testing scandal threatens to spill over onto other automakers, BMW yesterday issued a sharp statement in response to a report in Auto Bild suggesting emissions from an X3 test were out of the norm.
“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.”
BMW noted that in two studies carried out by the ICCT, results 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.
BMW said it was not familiar with test results that would suggest otherwise. The company said it was contacting the ICCT and asking for clarification of the test referenced by the press report. BMW further said that it would discuss testing procedures with the relevant authorities and make its vehicles available for testing at any time.
BMW also took the opportunity to speak strongly in support of diesel in the context of the coming 2020 emission targets in Europe.
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% 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 optimizing 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.