BMW North American (BMW) is the latest car manufacturer to be embroiled in a emissions cheating scandal. In a class action suit that mimics the Volkswagen “dieselgate” incident, BMW has been charged with installing software in its diesel cars that generate false readings of emissions outputs during testing. These devices enabled the cars to generate harmful and unlawful levels of emissions under ordinary driving conditions, thereby violating standards set forth by the EPA.
Allegations in the BMW Lawsuit
The plaintiffs in the class have either bought or leased a diesel-powered BMW X5 or 335d models. According to the lawsuit, BMW collaborated with Robert Bosch GmbH and Robert Bosch LLC to develop the cheating software. The plaintiffs allege that BMW failed to disclose its improper use of the emissions device. Independent testing on cars equipped with the device demonstrates that emissions levels on BMW diesel cars may exceed 20 times the amount allowed under federal standards. In city driving conditions, emissions levels can reach 27 times the permissible standard.
2015 Volkswagen Emissions Scandal
Back in 2015, Volkswagen experienced a similar controversy when the EPA charged the car manufacturer with planting devices that allowed the cars to defeat emissions tests. Volkswagen reached a $14.7 billion settlement after consumers filed thousands of lawsuits against the car manufacturer. Damages were awarded to cover both repairs and buybacks of the affected vehicles.
Fallout from BMW Scandal
Like Volkswagen, BMW must now defend itself against allegations that it deliberately deceived consumers to boost sales among those who normally take into consideration environmental impacts when purchasing a car. According to the plaintiffs, BMW claimed that its diesel cars met standards in all 50 states and were environmentally friendly. However, the actual emissions outputs of the affected vehicles render them unfit for driving in the United States according to EPA guidelines. In the action against BMW, plaintiffs are seeking damages and an injunction to prevent future sales of the affected cars. In addition, the claimants are seeking equitable relief for BMW’s misconduct in installing devices to deceive consumers.
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