Automaker BMW is under fire for failing to comply with an information request from the UK watchdog. The automaker faced a £30,000 fine plus an additional £15,000 per day for failing to turn over critical information to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). The request is linked to investigations by the CMA to determine competition law violations by businesses linked to the sale of new and used cars.

BMW is one of the largest automobile companies globally and one of the most prominent manufacturers of luxury cars. It operates in over 140 countries and has a significant market presence in the UK. The CMA launched an investigation last year into allegations of breaches of competition law in the car-buying sector. The CMA has been investigating various issues in the auto sector, including the reselling of new cars and dealer prices, among other things.

The inquiry into automobile recycling follows a lawsuit where BMW, Volkswagen, and Mercedes were accused of neglecting their responsibility to address climate change. Greenpeace and the German climate group DUH argued that the brands’ emission reduction plans violated the Paris Agreement and were thus unlawful. The groups urged the companies to take immediate and substantial action towards a greener future by discontinuing the sale of combustion engine vehicles by 2030.

According to the CMA, BMW will continue to incur daily penalties until they provide the requested information, until the watchdog makes an infringement decision, or until the case is closed. This action is just one of many scandals that BMW has faced in recent years. BMW’s involvement in the diesel emissions scandal and several other issues have tarnished its reputation.

In September 2015, Volkswagen became embroiled in the Dieselgate scandal, which exposed the fact that the German automotive giant had installed software into their diesel engines to cheat emissions tests. It was not long before other automotive manufacturers, including BMW, were found to have been involved in similar fraudulent practices.

German authorities soon uncovered evidence that BMW had also installed cheating software in their diesel vehicles, allowing them to produce excessive NOx emissions during testing. These emissions significantly contribute to air pollution, particularly in urban areas where diesel vehicles are used heavily. Unfortunately, the pollutants emitted by diesel engines can have serious health impacts on humans and the natural world.

One of the most significant risks of diesel emissions is their impact on human health. The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified diesel exhaust emissions as a Group 1 carcinogen, which means that there is enough evidence to suggest that long-term exposure can cause cancer in humans. Exposure to diesel exhaust can also cause respiratory illnesses like asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema, especially in people with pre-existing conditions. Vulnerable individuals, such as children, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems, face the highest risk.

Moreover, diesel emissions contribute significantly to the deterioration of air quality in urban areas. Particulate matter from diesel exhaust can cause smog and reduce visibility. It can also negatively impact ecosystems by disrupting the balance of nitrogen and sulphur in the soil, leading to acid rain and harming crops and wildlife.

Following the accusations against BMW, the automaker initially denied any wrongdoing, stating that their vehicles complied with all emission laws. However, after further investigation, BMW did admit that some discrepancies were found in their engines. About 11,700 BMW vehicles were recalled in the UK in 2018 for correcting a software error that caused excessive emissions of NOx and CO2. The recall included some of BMW’s most popular models, such as the 5 Series and 7 Series.

While the recalls may have fixed the issue, BMW’s reputation has taken a hit and faced significant backlash from environmental groups. The automaker has faced criticism for putting profit ahead of environmental concerns and for jeopardizing the health of its customers by emitting excess pollutants. As a result, BMW has faced substantial legal action, with many customers filing BMW emission claims against the company for their deceptive practices.

As of 2023, 170,000 BMW owners are expecting to claim compensation from the German automaker for the excess emissions-producing diesel engines. These claims are being pursued through a group legal action involving UK law firms Leigh Day and Pogust Goodhead. The groups hope to secure compensation for BMW owners whose vehicles were affected by the emissions scandal. While no official figure is available regarding the total amount of claims filed, the compensation could run into billions of pounds if successful.

To make matters worse for BMW, they have also been hit with a £765 million fine by the European Commission for engaging in collusion regarding emissions technology with Volkswagen. In addition, the automaker has faced declining sales figures due to the scandal. In 2020, BMW’s global sales fell by 8.4% due to the impact of COVID-19.

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