BMW X3 Diesel Under Scrutiny in Wake of VW Scandal
European Group Identifies High NOx Levels in Smaller SUV
The Volkswagen TDI emissions scandal that looked like it would initially be confined to the U.S. market and approximately 482,000 vehicles has now gone worldwide and could potentially involve as many as 11 million vehicles globally. The repercussions are likely to affect all automakers selling diesel-powered models in Europe, North America, and Asia. No sooner had BMW issued a statement saying that its X5 35d SUV met required NOx emissions targets in the same testing protocol that revealed the TDI discrepancy that the Europe-based International Council on Clean Transportation identified the diesel-powered version of BMW’s smaller X3 SUV for having NOx emissions as much as 11 times over the allowable limit, according to Bloomberg. BMW issued a statement saying “The BMW Group does not manipulate or rig any emissions tests. We observe the legal requirements in each country.”
Germany’s transport ministry said it would perform spot checks of all new diesel vehicles, and the European Union is encouraging all EU member nations to conduct their own independent testing. Many believe this scandal will be a negative turning point for diesel vehicles not only in the U.S. but also in Europe, where policies and taxation have traditionally been favorable toward diesels. France in particular is making an abrupt about-face from being pro-diesel to proposing banning diesel passenger cars from inner-city Paris by 2020. Even Germany’s automakers, the largest producers of diesel-powered vehicles by volume, are beginning to move aggressively toward electrification in the form of plug-in hybrids, with more full-electric models promised by 2018.