New scandal in the context of the diesel affair

Suspicion of coordination between German car manufacturers

The five major car manufacturers are put under pressure by EU antitrust authorities. Audi, BMW, Daimler, Porsche and VW are under suspicion of having agreed at an early stage on the exhaust gas cleaning of their diesel vehicles. According to the Handelsblatt, the public prosecutor’s office in Brunswick has discovered new sensitive papers in the course of investigations. An email from 2012 seems to be particularly explosive. Further indications already date back to 2008.

The documents deal in particular with the size of tanks for the urea mixture AdBlue, which is injected into the combustion process to neutralize toxic nitrogen oxides. If a car was tested, the software controlled the output of the required amount of Adblue so that the environmental limits were not exceeded. In addition, this software switches off the exhaust gas cleaning during road use

Now an email from Audi’s technical department has appeared. According to the newspaper “Handelsblatt”, a “board order” is listed among other things, which is supposed to save costs for the Adblue system. Furthermore, the author points out a “long-term tank volume strategy”, which “will also be supported by VW, BMW and Daimler”.

When the authorities became aware of the shutdown devices and the defeat devices, the car manufacturers warned each other. In an email from the end of 2012, from a VW employee to a Daimler employee, the exact date of the meeting with the German authorities – 5.12.2012 – was stated. The email continued: “Hints to the defeat-device working group Audi, BMW, Daimler, Porsche and VW”.

Volkswagen and Daimler did not provide any information about whether and how arrangements for shutdown facilities had been made. According to a spokesman of BMW, the car manufacturer is not aware of any defeat-device working group.