In context of cartel allegations against several German car manufacturers, European Commission has searched headquarters of BMW Group in Munich. While Brussels authority only spoke of an "unannounced test" by a German manufacturer, company later confirmed that EU Commission staff were "in Munich this week for a review". A spokesman did not give furr details, but stressed that re is currently no formal procedure against BMW.Daimler wants status as witness
The cartel allegations were made known in summer by a report of mirror. As a result, leading deutscheAutohersteller have been meeting secret agreements since 1990s and have exchanged among or things through suppliers, exhaust filters and engines. As Spiegel reports, 200Mitarbeiter of Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, BMW and Daimler have repeatedly met around 60 different working groups. The EU Commission had launched a preliminary investigation to investigate allegations of ' anti-trust behaviour ' and distortion of competition.
Especially explosive should be agreements of car manufacturers over dieAbgasreinigungen of ir diesel vehicles. According to this, Diegroßen five agreed at latest since 2006 on how large tanks for SogenannteHarnstoffgemisch AdBlue should be. With this material, diesel filters can split harmful nitrogen oxides into environmentally friendly components of water and nitrogen. However, re should be a sufficient amount of adblue in car – necessary tanks were too expensive for car manufacturers. They refore agreed on smaller tanks – and, according to experts, laid foundation for diesel scandal.
The agreements do not deny car companies, quite contrary. According to Spiegel report, Daimler as AuchVolkswagen – latter also in name of Audi and Porsche – submitted self-notification. As Daimler said, status of witness has now been applied for by European Commission. "We must not say more about this at moment because of aforementioned application for fine immunity," said CFO Bodo Uebber, thus pointing to special role of leniency witness in a cartel procedure: he may, as a rule, be based on largest Nachlassbei penalty payments up To complete spare hope. However, it acts as main belastungszeuge, which may burden or members einesKartells.The car industry suspected of diesel scandal
For years, VW Group has manipulated diesel cars in such a way that y only meet emission limit values on test bench, but emit considerably more pollutants on road. The scam flew in September 2015 in US, company was committed to manipulation. The chairman of VW board Martin Winter Korn resigned. Only eleven million vehicles in world are affected by VW, most of m in Europe.
Like VW, Porsche, Audi and Daimler have used banned exhaust software for years in ir diesel vehicles. They have launched recall actions: The diesel cars are to be retrofitted.
Criminal authorities in Braunschweig and Stuttgart determine against high-ranking managers and engineers of groups, also against winter grain. It is about fraud and violation of stock law.
Read all about VW affair on our topic page and follow events related to exhaust affair in our live dossier.Cartel suspicion
According to a Spiegel report in July 2017, Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, BMW and Daimler have formed a cartel since 1990s: in secret working groups, car manufacturers should be able to rely on technology of ir vehicles, costs, suppliers, markets, strategies Have agreed – and on exhaust gas purification of ir diesel vehicles, allegations also concern diesel scandal. The Bosch supplier should also have been involved in agreements.
Both VW and Daimler reportedly submitted a self-advertisement, with Daimler being faster. This would allow m to expect milder penalties, or even get rid of m. The German and European competition authorities are now examining suspicion of cartels. The procedure could be one of biggest cartel cases in German economic history.
Not all of se agreements must have been illegal: Read an interview with antitrust Philipp von Dietze. However, when companies take advantage of competition, it is seldom for benefit of customers – y could have gotten better cars: Read an interview with The economist Justus Haucap.
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