Call to halt government BMW purchase after emission fraud allegations

The government’s purchase of BMW limousines should be suspended while BMW is under investigation for allegedly providing fraudulent fuel economy and emissions figures, says the car review website

Tests by International Council for Clean Transportation (ICCT) – the same organisation that uncovered VW’s fraudulent diesel emissions claims – showed that many popular European cars, including BMW diesel vehicles, use more than 50% more fuel than claimed by the makers.

These tests were published in a report by environmental group Transport and Environment (T&E).

While it is well known that carmakers manipulate fuel economy tests to give overly optimistic results, a T&E spokesman has suggested that the huge gap between the carmakers' claims and reality points to widespread fraud.

The T&E report says: “The gap between official and real-world performance found in many car models has grown so wide that it cannot be explained through known factors including test manipulations”.

Greg Archer, clean vehicles manager at T&E, says:

“The European system of testing cars to measure fuel economy and CO2 emissions is utterly discredited.”

Archer also claims that the Volkswagen scandal is just the tip of the iceberg.

“What lies beneath is widespread abuse by carmakers of testing rules, enabling cars to swallow more than 50% more fuel than is claimed.” editor Clive Matthew-Wilson says that, in light of the serious accusations made against BMW and the other European carmakers, it is unwise for the government to proceed with the BMW limousine purchase at this time.

“It is simply inexcusable that the government is currently spending millions of taxpayer dollars on these vehicles, while boasting about their brilliant fuel economy and low emissions.”

“Until BMW can prove that its claimed fuel economy and emissions figures are correct, we must assume that they’re not correct, and the purchase of these vehicles should not proceed.”

• In the real-world tests conducted by the International Council for Clean Transportation (ICCT), the Mercedes E Class, A Class and C Class vehicles all gave CO2 and mpg readings that were more than 50% higher than those claimed by the carmakers. The BMW 5 series used 49% more fuel, the Peugeot 308 hatchback used 48% more fuel, the Renault Megane used 45% more and the Volkswagen Golf used 41% more.
The report also suggested new European cars are spewing out on average 40% more carbon dioxide than laboratory tests show.