Volkswagen, Daimler, and BMW under Investigation for Alleged Diesel Cartel

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Its statement read: "As a matter of principle: BMW Group vehicles are not manipulated and comply with respective legal requirements".

BMW denied the allegations of collusion while other firms have said they do not comment on "speculations and allegations".

It described how the companies formed myriad working groups to agree on common standards and specifications - for example, to keep urea tanks for diesel engines relatively small so more space under the hood would be available for pricey extras.

Audi followed suit by calling back 850,000 high-end diesels for a software update.

The European Commission is investigating allegations that five German firms - BMW, Daimler, and Volkswagen with its subsidiaries Audi and Porsche - collaborated for decades on many aspects of auto development, production, sales and logistics, disadvantaging customers and suppliers.

In a statement, VDA said compliance policies for members preclude anti-competitive behaviour, adding the issues being probed by regulators "relate to a format which was not part of the VDA and its work". That was due both to a changeover to a new model of the Volkswagen Golf, which cost the company sales of a high-volume product, and "customer trust, which has not been completely regained as a outcome of the diesel issue". Volkswagen and Daimler refused to talk about Friday. That might not seem bad, but in the European Union it's against the law. It did not offer any elaboration on further probes of auto technology because it doesn't comment on ongoing investigations. In 2016, European truck makers MAN, Daimler, DAF, Iveco, and Volvo-Renault were revealed to be involved in a truck price fixing scandal.

The scandal, affectionately coined "dieselgate," was originally reserved for Volkswagen branded vehicles sold in the United States.

Daimler's move to blow the whistle about this conspiracy has ruined BMW's trust in Daimler.

Owners "could have paid a price driven by cartel agreements for a potentially inadequate vehicle", he added, and urged the German government to prioritise it after the election in September.

"Of course everything must be cleared up without mercy", said a spokesman for Angela Merkel, stressing, however, that the review of this file was done by the competition authorities independent of the government.