— A BMW diesel emissions lawsuit claims 2009-2013 BMW X5 and 2009-2011 BMW 335d diesel vehicles are equipped with emissions "defeat devices" manufactured by Bosch, the same company tied to the Volkswagen emissions scandal.
According to the plaintiffs, they purchased their BMW diesel vehicles without knowing the automaker had equipped the vehicles with software that caused excess nitrogen oxide emissions in real-world driving.
The defeat devices allegedly turn down emissions controls when the vehicles aren't being tested for certification, in some cases causing nitrogen oxide emissions 20 times above standards.
Attorneys for the plaintiffs tested a BMW vehicle in multiple conditions ranging from 45-70 mph, with most tests conducted at 60 mph. Over the course of 2,401 miles, highway emissions were allegedly about 3 times above standards and maximum levels were nearly 20 times the standards.
The lawsuit alleges the vehicles are anything but the "clean" vehicles BMW advertised due to the automaker's willful manipulation of the emission systems.
Based on testing, the plaintiffs allege the X5 and 335d diesel vehicles emit higher levels of nitrogen oxides compared to gasoline-powered vehicles, compared to BMW's advertising and compared to levels set by the federal government. The plaintiffs allege those points make the vehicles illegal in the U.S.
The lawsuit further alleges a common connection with illegal emission systems from Volkswagen and other automakers is supplier Bosch that created the engine management software used to fool test machines.
One of the plaintiffs says he purchased a used 2012 BMW X5 diesel vehicle for about $43,000, but in reality paid at least $1,500 too much because it was a diesel vehicle that emitted illegal highway levels of nitrogen oxides.
The plaintiff says the X5 did get the promised fuel economy and power, but only because the vehicle had illegal emissions software that polluted the environment. He claims he would not have purchased the X5 or would have paid less for it, by at least $1,500.
The plaintiffs also claim their vehicles aren't worth what they should be due to the illegal emissions systems, something BMW knew about but "recklessly disregarded."
According to the lawsuit, emissions meet standards when the vehicles are tested at about 72°F, but the lawsuit alleges emissions increased 2.4 times above standards when testing was conducted between 50°F and 60°F. In addition, testing between 45°F and 50°F show nitrogen oxide emissions 4 times above legal standards.
The plaintiffs claim a clear conspiracy exists between BMW and Bosch and the partnership is what enabled the affected X5 and 335d cars to achieve the power, fuel economy and efficiency BMW promised consumers. However, the partnership also created the conditions needed to mask the real emissions levels of the vehicles.
BMW has been in the middle of alleged illegal emissions activity since shortly after investigators announced Volkswagen had been caught cheating on emissions tests for years.
Questions about BMW vehicles popped up in 2015 when German media reported one of BMW's X3 SUVs emitted nitrogen oxides far above European standards. The automaker immediately released a statement that said BMW never uses defeat devices and there are methods in place at BMW to block the use of such devices.
The BMW diesel emissions lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court District of New Jersey - Rickman, et al., v. BMW of North America LLC, et al.
The plaintiffs are represented by Carella, Byrne, Cecchi, Olstein, Brody, Agnello, P.C., Hagens Berman, Seeger Weiss, and The Miller Law Firm PC.