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German carmaker BMW has been in the news for years because of their involvement with the controversial Dieselgate diesel emissions scandal. 

BMW’s Dieselgate story started differently from Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, and other brands implicated in the scandal. 

Before anybody could complain about how BMW used defeat devices and lied to customers, the carmaker was allegedly involved in a cartel with Mercedes parent company Daimler and the Volkswagen Group. According to the European Commission, the three, along with the VW Group’s Audi and Porsche, colluded on delaying and limiting an eco-friendly technology for cleaner emissions. 

The carmakers allegedly had secret meetings for several years – from 2009 to 2014. Authorities said BMW, VW, and Daimler went against the EEA or European Economic Area Agreement. The EU fined both BMW and Volkswagen but did not order Daimler to pay anything since the carmaker revealed the existence of the cartel to authorities.

BMW’s diesel emissions scandal

In 2018, the Bavarian vehicle manufacturer became the subject of a class-action lawsuit in the US after defeat devices were allegedly found in several of their diesel vehicles. BMW denied the allegations and said it was an honest mistake as they used the incorrect software for their M550d and 750d vehicles. 

Nevertheless, the KBA (German Federal Motor Transport Authority) ordered the carmaker to recall over 11,000 BMWs. KBA’s Minister Andreas Scheuer specified that BMW needed to replace the illegal devices with emissions-compliant ones.

Authorities made the decision after BMW facilities were raided in March on suspicions of violating emissions regulations through the use of defeat devices. 

The class-action lawsuit in the US alleged that BMW allowed the manufacture of the devices used to manipulate emissions through its partnership with Robert Bosch LLC and Robert Bosch GmbH. The lawsuit specifically mentioned BMW’s diesel-powered 4-door sedans and SUVs emitted massive amounts of nitrogen oxide (NOx) and exceeded the legal standard by at least 27 times. X5 models manufactured between the years 2009 and 2013 and 330d models sold between the years 2009 and 2011 were described as not legally suitable for driving on US roads.

A BMW representative denied the accusations and assured the public that their vehicles followed every legal requirement.

The defeat device BMW allegedly installed manipulates emission levels once it detects that a vehicle is brought to the lab for regulatory testing. Lowering emissions to within the World Health Organization’s mandated levels gives regulators the impression that the vehicle is emissions-compliant and safe for selling and driving. 

However, regulators witness only what happens during testing. Once the vehicle is brought out of the lab for real-world road driving, it starts to emit illegal amounts of NOx. Without the magic of the defeat device, the vehicle contributes high levels of toxic air. 


Last year, the financial website Money Saving Expert published a list of carmakers embroiled in the diesel emissions scandal and whose drivers can receive financial compensation. Aside from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen, the list includes:

  • Chrysler
  • Ford
  • Audi (from the Volkswagen Group)
  • Kia
  • Porsche
  • Jaguar
  • Fiat
  • Peugeot
  • Land Rover
  • Citroën
  • Mini
  • Hyundai
  • Volvo
  • Seat
  • Mini
  • Škoda 
  • Renault

Authorities have stressed several times that carmakers that use defeat devices and violate emissions regulations do not only lie to and mislead their customers, but they also expose their customers to the dangerous impacts of NOx emissions. As such, affected drivers deserve to be compensated. Each can receive compensation worth thousands but the final value will come from the court after a successful emission claim case.

Diesel emissions scandal carmakers are responsible for their illegal actions and should be brought to court for due process.


Defeat devices are illegal because they magnify the volume of nitrogen oxide emissions diesel vehicles release. NOx emissions destroy the environment and can shorten life expectancy. It is one of the reasons why air pollution has become the leading cause of premature deaths around the world every year. 

The nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and nitric oxide (NO) components in NOx can cause numerous health issues, including asthma and other respiratory diseases. In some cases, a person can develop Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD, which means they suffer from life-changing and life-threatening lung problems (i.e., breathing becomes difficult).

Other health problems that surface after exposure to NOx emissions include pulmonary oedema (when your lungs are filled with fluid), asphyxiation, cancer, and vocal cord spasm. Most of the cases of premature deaths reported year after year are primarily caused by cardiovascular diseases due to air pollution exposure.

NOx emissions also cause dementia as a person’s cognitive abilities decline after exposure. Mental health issues such as anxiety and depression are also common.

What is my diesel claim?

To receive compensation from your erring carmaker, you need to file a BMW diesel claim. You can choose to file an individual claim or join a GLO (Group Litigation Order) with the help of emissions experts. However, before you can do so, you should first determine if you are qualified to file an emission claim.

All you need to do is visit and go through all the details about which vehicles are affected. This will tell you if you are eligible to claim compensation or not. Once you’re done, you can proceed with the diesel claim process.

Chad Gaytan