The emission scandal rocking Volkswagen has spread to other car manufacturers as shares in BMW plunged nearly 6 pc after it was alleged one of its diesel SUVs exceeds EU emission norms.
Investors in the premium carmaker are said to be nervous after a German magazine reported that the company’s X3 xDrive 20d sport utility vehicle emitted as much as 11 times the European Union's limit for air pollution in a road test.
On Thursday, the German weekly Auto-Bild reported that emissions from the SUV exceeded the EU's Euro-6 diesel emissions level by 11 times during an official road test by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT).
Auto-bild quoted a BMW spokesperson saying the company did not use "functions to recognize exhaust cycles" and that the car's exhaust system "remains active throughout the entire cycle."
A statement issued after the report said: "The BMW group does not manipulate or rig any emissions tests.
“We observe the legal requirements in each country and adhere to all local testing requirements.”
"We are not familiar with the test mentioned by Auto Bild concerning the emissions of a BMW X3 during a road test. No specific details of the test have yet been provided and therefore we cannot explain these results."
The company added that the ICCT had confirmed that the BMW X5 and 13 other BMW vehicles tested complied with the legal NOx requirements.
Environmental groups have in the past reported on discrepancies between test performance and road performance but the issue has become much more sensitive in the wake of last week’s accusations against Volkswagen.
"We have been informed that also in Europe, vehicles with 1.6 and 2.0 liter diesel engines are affected by the manipulations that are being talked about," Mr Dobrindt told reporters, adding it was unclear how many vehicles in Europe were affected.
"It is clear that the Federal Office for Motor Traffic will not exclusively concentrate on the VW models in question but that it will also carry out random tests on vehicles made by other carmakers," he said.
Volkswagen has admitted its emission software is installed in some 11 million cars world-wide.
Volkswagen chief executive Martin Winterkorn, who during nearly a decade at the helm catapulted VW to the top spot in global sales, stepped down yesterday after admitting the automaker cheated on US emissions tests.