BMW Denies Collusion Allegations, Says It Didn’t Cheat Emissions Standards
As its competitors remain bogged down by emissions scandals, luxury automaker BMW is trying to steer clear.
Late Sunday, the world’s fourth largest automaker by market value released a statement saying that it “categorically rejects” accusations that it had colluded with its fellow German competitors to fix prices and cheat emissions standards.
“As a matter of principle: BMW Group (BMWYY) vehicles are not manipulated and comply with respective legal requirements,” the company said in the statement. “The BMW Group categorically rejects accusations that Euro 6 diesel vehicles sold by the company do not provide adequate exhaust gas treatment due to AdBlue tanks that are too small.”
The response comes after German magazine Der Spiegel reported that the world’s second, third, and fourth largest automakers — Volkswagen (VLKAY), Daimler (DDAIF), and BMW — had been meeting secretly since the 1990s to coordinate everything from their technology and costs, to emissions controls. The Der Spiegel report, which cited a document submitted by Volkswagen in July 2016, led stocks for all three companies to fall Friday. The European Commission later confirmed that it had received information about the alleged collusion, and was assessing the documents.
The Der Spiegel report also alleged that Daimler, BMW, as well Volkswagen and its two subsidiaries Audi and Porsche, colluded to use a cheaper, less effective emissions neutralizing design. Namely, the three carmakers allegedly agreed to use small AdBlue tanks. AdBlue is a liquid solution used to counteract a vehicle’s emissions.
BMW’s Sunday defense argued that it did not only use AdBlue to treat exhaust. The carmaker said that it also used a catalytic converter, creating a combined system that required less AdBlue.
The allegations also come at a time when both Daimler and Volkswagen are still dealing with other emissions-related woes. Volkswagen has agreed to spend some $25 billion in the U.S. to address claims that it had cheated emissions tests. Daimler meanwhile voluntarily recalled some 3 million Mercedes-Benz vehicles in Europe earlier this month to fix excess emissions from its Diesel engines.
For more on Volkswagen’s emissions scandal, watch Fortune’s video:
The three companies represented about 16% of the world’s car production in 2015, according to the most recent data from the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers.
Volkswagen declined to comment. Fortune has reached out to Daimler.