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Robots work on the bodywork of various BMW models in the main factory

Photo: Sven Hoppe / dpa

According to SPIEGEL information, the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) has started a hearing against BMW on suspicion of exhaust manipulation in the SUV model X3.

The process has therefore been running for several months.

A spokesman for the authorities told the "Bild" newspaper, which first reported on it, that there was a suspicion of an illegal shutdown device in the engine control system of an X3 with a two-liter diesel engine.

How many vehicles are affected is still unclear.

According to information from SPIEGEL, BMW is said to have asked for extensions of time in the hearing process in order to respond to the allegations.

These come from the environmental organization Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH), whose expert Axel Friedrich claims to have come across suspicious emissions levels during measurements.

The IT specialist Felix Domke, who has already uncovered several similar cases at Opel and Porsche, among others, then evaluated the emissions control software for manipulation.

The DUH then forwarded the information to the KBA, the Federal Ministry of Transport and the responsible European authorities.

DUH managing director Jürgen Resch told SPIEGEL that evidence had been found for years that showed exhaust gas manipulation at BMW.

The fact that nothing had been done against the car manufacturer from Munich until then was thanks to the protective hand of the CSU and its transport ministers Alexander Dobrindt and Andreas Scheuer.

“The FDP Minister Volker Wissing is also still hindering the investigation into Dieselgate,” said Resch.

At the request of the Reuters news agency, the Munich car manufacturer explained that BMW had already informed BMW in the 2023 half-year report about the process reported by “Bild”.

The interim statement stated that the BMW Group was “in contact with two responsible registration authorities in Europe to clarify questions about emissions behavior that arose as part of market surveillance on measurement results for a BMW vehicle model built between September 2010 and March 2014 «.

This model is a BMW X3 20 d.

The hearing is still pending.

Therefore, BMW does not comment further on individual questions in this context.

The diesel scandal in the German automotive industry has caused a stir in recent years.

It began when BMW's rival Volkswagen admitted in 2015, under pressure from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), that it had manipulated diesel emissions values ​​using software.