German state prosecutors will have BMW pay a fine of about €10 million ($11.6 million) to absolve itself of its Dieselgate sins. The newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung reported this morning that six months of investigations will be wrapped up with the fine, avoiding a messy trial for the Bavarian carmaker.
BMW’s penalty is tiny compared to the consequences other automakers have endured for their own emissions-related scandals. Volkswagen has paid about $25 billion in fines in the U.S. and Germany, Daimler is anticipating billions in fines, and Audi CEO Rupert Stadler is currently in jail.
The 7,600 BMW vehicles implicated in Dieselgate were accidentally outfitted with diesel emission manipulation devices; the state’s investigation determined that was sloppy work, not intentional deception. BMW had informed the federal motor vehicles authority of its “oversight” in February, which led to a raid of employees’ offices in March.
“We made a mistake some years ago,” BMW CEO Harald Krüger said at the company’s annual meeting in May. “To make it clear: It has nothing to do with targeted manipulation of engine or emission control.”
Volkswagen and Daimler have had to recall hundreds of thousands of cars with diesel-defeat devices. While BMW’s share price dropped by 6% in the first half of this year, the price of shares of Volkswagen and Daimler have dropped 13% and 19%, respectively.