The news came yesterday like a thunderbolt, but with a closer look, the BMW Diesel software problem is a completely different than other manufacturers. The more details come to light, the clearer it becomes: the story has unbelievably bad timing and is viewed by the public with some certainty, similar to the exhaust emissions scandal at Volkswagen, but the background and effects are completely different.

First, it should be noted that in contrast to the diesel issue in other brands not hundreds of thousands or even millions of vehicles are affected, but only 11,700 vehicles with the no longer built Triturbo diesel. These 11,700 vehicles are distributed over four niche models with the 381-hp top version of the 3.0-liter straight-six diesel N57: BMW M550d Sedan and Touring, and BMW 750d with short and long wheelbase.

The fact that the same engine in the BMW X5 M50d and X6 M50d is not affected is, paradoxically, the trigger of the problem. In the X5 and X6, an exhaust aftertreatment with AdBlue injection is used, in addition to the NOx storage catalytic converter. This was not required for the M550d and 750d to meet all emission regulations. However, due to human error, the engine software for the X5 M50d and X6 M50d was also mistakenly used on M550d (F10, F11) and 750d (F01, F02) – eventually resulting in problems with exhaust gas purification because the AdBlue injection was not installed in the non-SUV.

The problem was not discovered by the KBA on its own, as Spiegel originally announced. Rather, BMW noticed in internal tests that some units of the M550d and 750d received by mistake the wrong software updates. It was not a nationwide issue, which is why not all M550d and 750 are affected. BMW informed the KBA about the problem and plans a recall of all models to be sure to have all the M550d and 75od with their intended software on the road again.

A deliberate manipulation is definitely out of the question, according to BMW, who issued a lengthy statement.

BMW Group plans callback to correct incorrectly assigned software version

Munich. The BMW Group has found in internal tests that a correctly developed software was assigned to some unsuitable model versions by mistake. As a result, the BMW Group informed the responsible authorities immediately. The corresponding software has been developed correctly for vehicles with a combination system of SCR and NOx storage catalytic converter.

However, this software was mistakenly used in model versions whose active exhaust aftertreatment takes place exclusively via a NOx storage catalytic converter. These models were equipped with the correct software at the time of their initial registration at the start of production in 2012.
Therefore, the BMW Group plans to recall 11,700 vehicles. Corrected software will be provided for these vehicles after approval by the relevant authorities.

Affected are niche engines of the already expired model generation of the BMW 5 Series and 7 Series from the years of construction from 2012 to 2017 with the high-performance diesel engine N57B30S1 with three turbochargers. In detail, these are:

BMW M550d xDrive Sedan (production 03 / 2012-10 / 2016)
BMW M550d xDrive Touring (production 03 / 2012-02 / 2017)
BMW 750d xDrive (production 07 / 2012-06 / 2015)
BMW 750Ld xDrive (production 07 / 2012-06 / 2015)
All further steps are carried out in close coordination with the responsible authorities.