NEWARK, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A class-action lawsuit has revealed claims that BMW installed an illegal emissions-cheating system in tens of thousands of its diesel vehicles to mask pollution up to 27 times the legal standard, in similar fashion to Volkswagen’s Dieselgate scandal, according to Hagens Berman.
The lawsuit states that behind its empty promises that BMW X5 and 335d models “protect the environment every day” and were “environmentally friendly,” BMW colluded with Robert Bosch GmbH and Robert Bosch LLC to create manipulative software that would mask illegally high levels of pollution while undergoing emissions testing. Only this illegal tampering enabled the affected X5 and 335d cars to achieve the power, fuel economy and efficiency BMW promised consumers.
The suit filed Mar. 27, 2018, in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey states this collusion with BMW amounts to a RICO enterprise, in violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.
If you own or lease a 2009-2013 BMW X5 or 2009-2011 335d vehicle, you may be entitled to compensation. Find out more about the lawsuit and sign up here.
“At these levels, these cars aren’t just dirty – they don’t meet standards to be legally driven on U.S. streets and no one would have bought these cars if BMW had told the truth,” said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman.
“Why did BMW go out of its way to tout the environmental friendliness of these cars? Because it knew that doing so would accelerate sales. BMW knows that a certain segment of car buyers care about their vehicle’s impact on the environment,” Berman added. “Instead of making good on those promises of protecting the environment, BMW chose to join the likes of Volkswagen and so many others, to build an illegal emissions-cheating system.”
The complaint states that BMW and Bosch’s software manipulations result in emissions that range from an average of 3 times the standard in highway conditions and 8.5 times the standard in city driving. The law firm’s independent testing revealed that highway emissions can get as high as 20 times the standard and city conditions as high as 27 times the standard.
The firm has used its same emissions testing using accepted testing equipment and protocols conducted by engineering experts in emissions testing to uncover emissions-cheating by Ford, Mercedes, Fiat Chrysler, Audi and General Motors. Hagens Berman’s investigations have spurred government action and investigations against automakers.
The lawsuit seeks damages, injunctive relief to end the sale of the affected X5 and 335d models, and equitable relief for BMW’s misconduct related to the design, manufacture, marketing, sale and lease of its illegally polluting cars.
Attorneys say that in misleading consumers BMW violated the RICO Act, as well as many state consumer-protection laws, amounting to a total of 53 counts of violations against the automaker.
“BMW Was Fully Aware”
The lawsuit states that BMW fought to bolster revenue, augment profits and increase its share of the diesel market, but failed to achieve their lofty goals lawfully. BMW chose to work with Bosch and “resorted instead to orchestrating a fraudulent scheme and conspiracy.” The complaint calls BMW and Bosch’s collusion an “illegal enterprise” with the purpose of deceiving regulators and the public about the true emissions output of the affected X5 and 335d models.
Robert Bosch GmbH and Robert Bosch LLC tested, manufactured and sold the electronic control module (ECM) that managed the emission control system used by BMW in the affected diesel cars. “Bosch worked with BMW, Volkswagen, Mercedes, Ford, General Motors, and FCA to develop and implement a specific and unique set of software algorithms to surreptitiously evade emissions regulations,” the suit states. Bosch sold hundreds of thousands of this particular ECM to BMW.
“Based on our knowledge of Bosch’s widespread involvement, we believe BMW was fully aware of this scheme involving its top-selling diesel models,” Berman said. “BMW blatantly chose to leave its loyal customers in the dark, forcing them to unknowingly fit the bill for its degradation of the environment.”
Learn more about the class-action lawsuit against BMW.
Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP is a consumer-rights class-action law firm with 11 offices across the country. The firm has been named to the National Law Journal’s Plaintiffs’ Hot List eight times. More about the law firm and its successes can be found at www.hbsslaw.com. Follow the firm for updates and news at @ClassActionLaw.