Following a report by German automobile magazine Auto Bild, alleging that the emissions control function in the BMW X3 xDrive20d has been rigged to reduce its exhaust emissions only when it is tested in a lab, BMW has issued a statement firmly denying the allegations.
BMW said: “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.”
Yesterday, Auto Bild reported that exhaust emissions from current generation BMW X3 xDrive20d emitted more than 11 times the European limit when road-tested by the International Council on Clean Transportation, the same group whose tipoff led US regulators to investigate a gap between the emissions VW and Audi diesel-powered cars in the testing lab and on the road.
In response, BMW said “Two studies carried out by the ICCT have 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.
“We are not familiar with the test results mentioned by Auto Bild on 24 September concerning the emissions of a BMW X3 during a road test. No specific details of the test have yet been provided and therefore we cannot explain these results. We are contacting the ICCT and asking for clarification of the test they carried out.”
While the recent ‘dieselgate’ debacle between Volkswagen and the US EPA has cast a bad light on diesel engines, BMW reiterated its support for clean diesel technology:
“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 per cent less CO2 on average than a comparable petrol engine.”
It also said that the European Union is working to replace the current New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) standard with one that is said to be a closer reflection of real world driving experience.
“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,” said BMW.