The Competition and Markets Authority or CMA, an anti-trust regulator for the UK, fined carmaker BMW for withholding valuable information related to a current industry probe that started earlier this year. The probe is for suspicions of an anti-competitive act linked to the recycling of written-off or old vehicles.
According to the CMA, BMW’s UK unit promised to provide the information needed and they did. However, the wider BMW Group did not fully comply with the CMA’s request and even said that the regulator did not have any jurisdiction over them. Nevertheless, the CMA did not accept the carmaker’s reasoning and excuse.
CMA fined BMW £30,000 and added a £15,000 daily penalty that will keep accumulating until the carmaker gives the watchdog the information they requested. If the carmaker does not adhere to the fine, CMA will impose an infringement procedure.
Aside from the CMA, the European Commission is also investigating BMW’s actions.
Allegedly, this is not the first time that BMW withheld valuable information from authorities.
In 2021, the carmaker was fined for participating in a cartel with Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler. The three were caught colluding to limit competition and slow down the implementation of cleaner emissions technology for diesel vehicles. BMW was fined a total of $442 million or approximately £367 million.
BMW is also one of the carmakers implicated in the Dieselgate scandal.
What was the Dieselgate scandal about?
In September 2015, the Volkswagen Group received a notice of violation from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The carmaker violated the Clean Air Act when it installed additional software into its diesel vehicle engines. Known as defeat devices, this software was programmed to manipulate emissions controls when a vehicle was in regulatory testing.
Defeat devices can sense when a vehicle is in testing and it then temporarily lowers emissions levels to within the World Health Organization (WHO) limits. This will make the vehicle look safe and emissions-compliant. Outside of testing and when driven in real-world road conditions, however, the vehicle produces high levels of nitrogen oxide or NOx, exceeding legal limits.
The Volkswagen Group allegedly installed defeat devices in their Audi and VW diesel vehicles in the US. They were required to recall the hundreds of thousands of affected vehicles. The German carmaker has also spent billions on payoffs over the years.
The diesel emissions scandal did not take long to cross to European and UK shores; other carmakers also joined in on the action and started getting caught violating emissions regulations. The list includes Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Vauxhall, and BMW.
Mercedes-Benz was the first to follow VW’s path. BMW, Nissan, and Vauxhall were implicated with numerous other carmakers in the years that followed.
On BMW’s part, the scandal started in 2017 after DUH (Deutsche Umwelthilfe e.V.) or Environmental Action Germany accused the carmaker of installing defeat devices in one of its diesel-powered models. BMW denied the allegations, but the KBA or German Federal Motor Transport Authority soon started investigating the accusations.
Like Volkswagen, BMW was forced to recall affected vehicles. BMW emissions claim cases are ongoing as well, although legal firms continue to encourage affected drivers to join the group litigation against the carmaker.
What are NOx emissions?
NOx or nitrogen oxide is the gas released by diesel vehicles. It is highly reactive and has adverse effects on the environment and human health. Its main components are the gases nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide.
It is also responsible for the formation of acid rain and smog. NOx produces ground-level ozone, a toxic gas that can weaken and damage vegetation, including crops.
Nitrogen oxide emissions can also weaken cognitive function, and this can lead to the development of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Additionally, NOx emissions are known to trigger mental health-related conditions, such as anxiety and depression.
If you are exposed to nitrogen oxide emissions, you can develop different health conditions. Low-level exposure impacts include:
- Lung problems (fluid can enter the lungs)
- Breathing problems (shortness of breath)
- Other respiratory ailments
- Corroded teeth
- Nausea and vomiting
High-level exposure to nitrogen oxide emissions has health impacts that can be life-changing:
- Chronic lung function reduction
- Spasm of the vocal cords (laryngospasm)
- Certain cancers
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Premature death
NOx emissions and air pollution in general have become a major cause of early deaths. Every year, thousands upon thousands of premature deaths have been linked to toxic air. It has become more dangerous than cigarette smoking, alcohol and drugs, and HIV and AIDS.
These life-changing impacts cannot be avoided but you can help protect future car owners and their families from toxic NOx emissions. Bring forward an emissions claim against your carmaker. Hold them responsible for the lies, inconvenience, and dangerous health impacts you and other affected car owners experience every day.
How should I start my diesel claim?
A diesel emissions claim is often challenging but if you work with emissions experts, the lengthy process will not be a problem.
However, you have to verify first if you are eligible to file a claim. Otherwise, your case will all be for nothing. All you have to do is visit ClaimExperts.co.uk and get all the information you need so you can start your claim. Visit them now.
Jordan Wayne, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.