BMW Braces for €1 Billion Fine on Emissions

April 05, 2019 at 4:11 PM

BMW AG says it will probably take a one-time charge of more than €1 billion ($1.1 billion) against first-quarter results to cover possible fines regarding the rollout of new emission control equipment.

BMW, along with Audi, Daimler, Porsche and Volkswagen, were accused today by the European Commission of colluding to inhibit the new technologies to reduce nitrogen oxides emissions from diesels and particulates from gasoline engines.

Daimler AG says it doesn’t expect to face a fine because it alerted the EU to the cartel. Volkswagen Group, which cooperated with regulators, anticipates a reduced fine.

BMW insists that nothing about the work group meetings or decisions were secretive or improper. It insists the discussions were merely to determine how the industry should launch of the technologies.

EC rules allow such coordination when the result improves performance, but not when it doesn’t. The commission contends that the decisions made by the group left consumers with vehicles that were not as clean-running as they could have been.