It was a raid that the people at BMW had never experienced: on March 20, German prosecutors and police officers suddenly stood in front of the doors of the corporate headquarters in Munich and the Development Center – 100 people in total.
“There is the initial suspicion that the BMW AG has used a test stand-related defeat device,” the investigators said. The suspicion: Diesel cars from BMW drive on the road with fraudulent exhaust gas software.
But so far, the investigations of the prosecutors in Munich have no evidence of major misconduct of the car company. The authorities say that only 7600 vehicles are affected, and the 11,400 units initially believed to be at fault.
The prosecution said that the investigation was initially for the 11,000 units, however, there are indications that “actually fewer vehicles could be affected”. The Federal Ministry of Transport said that currently just under 8000 BMW cars are affected.
The prosecution also confirmed that there was no suspicion of other affected vehicles.
The car company had admitted in February to the authorities that two vehicle models – the 750d and M550d – had been loaded with the wrong software from the X5 M50d and X6 M50d – eventually resulting in problems with exhaust gas purification because the AdBlue injection was not installed in the non-SUV.
It was a “human error”, said Development Director Klaus Fröhlich the day after the search, as BMW presented its annual balance sheet.
The investigation could end in a fine, but the prosecution said that a conclusion of the procedure will probably not take place before the end of the year.