EU fines VW and BMW £750m for colluding with Daimler on fumes

(The Guardian, 8 Jul 2021) Commission imposes €875m fine for breaching antitrust rules by delaying cleaner emissions technology.

The EU has fined Volkswagen and BMW €875m (£750m) after finding that the German carmakers colluded with another rival, the Mercedes-Benz owner Daimler, to delay emissions-cleaning technology.

The European Commission said that the carmakers had “breached EU antitrust rules by colluding on technical development in the area of nitrogen oxide cleaning”.

Volkswagen, the world’s largest manufacturer of cars, will pay €502m, a reduction of more than half the original fine because it cooperated with the investigation. BMW will pay €372m, far lower than the provision for well over €1bn that it had initially made. Daimler escaped without a fine because it had revealed the cartel to the commission.

The fines are the latest blow to the German car industry in relation to diesel pollution, after the “Dieselgate” cheating scandal, in which Volkswagen and Daimler were found to have added software, known as defeat devices, that during testing deliberately reduced emissions during testing of nitrogen oxides harmful to human health. Volkswagen and Daimler have both paid out billions of euros in fines and compensation.

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The Guardian, 8 Jul 2021: EU fines VW and BMW £750m for colluding with Daimler on fumes