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25 July 2017, 11:44 | Ruby West
Audi announces retrofit programme for 850000 diesel cars
German news magazine, Der Spiegel, reported Friday that Volkswagen, Audi, BMW, Porsche and Daimler may have been engaged in industrial collusion. If EU officials ultimately find that the carmakers broke competition law, they could fine them billions of euros.
The German auto giant, which is part of the scandal-hit Volkswagen group, said the move will "counteract possible bans on vehicles with diesel engines".
A committee will be set up to measure the impact of updating diesel cars on individual communies and cities, with a view to averting bans of diesel engined cars, the sources said. Volkswagen's share value dropped as much as 4.9pc; BMW 3.4pc; and Daimler 3.2pc, the Telegraph reported.
One of the things discussed, for example, was said to be the size of DEF (Diesel Exhaust Fluid) tanks, used to reduce nitrogen oxides (NOx) in diesel vehicles.
The September 2015 announcement by the EPA that VW Group engineers had admitted to deliberate cheating on USA emission tests of the company's "clean diesel' engines may prove to be another case in point".
It follows news last week that VW rival Daimler is also stepping up its action to improve emissions from its diesel vehicles in order to push back against public uncertainty surrounding the future of diesel technology. It goes on to say that the companies chose to avoid expensive larger tanks and instead fit smaller ones that aren't able to clean exhaust gases sufficiently.
European Union commission spokesman Ricardo Cardoso said on Monday (24 July) that the commission and the German competition authority "have received, indeed, information on this matter".
Volkswagen, Daimler, and BMW declined to comment on the Spiegel report, with the latter two calling it "speculation".
BMW now sees no reason to issue a voluntary recall for diesel cars fitted with Euro 6 compliant engines, but the firm has committed to an optional software upgrade for Euro 5 diesel cars at no cost to customers.
"We are not aware of investigations against us", he said. In most recalled vehicles, only emission software would require an update;some five, six, and eight-cylinder diesel engines would be replaced at no charge to the customer, however.
"This of course also applies to diesel automobiles". Audi is also claiming that the recall is for a software update to reduce NOx pollution.
Mercedes-Benz Korea's decision came in line with Daimler's previous call to provide "voluntary service actions" for 3 million vehicles in Europe, nearly all Euro 5 and Euro 6 diesel vehicles.
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