Air pollution and Volkswagen, BMW and Daimler's 'secret pact'

Reacquired Volkswagen and Audi diesel cars in a desert graveyard near Victorville, California, United States.
Reacquired Volkswagen and Audi diesel cars in a desert graveyard near Victorville, California, United States. PHOTO: REUTERS

FRANKFURT • Germany's three largest carmakers secretly agreed to equip their vehicles with inferior emissions equipment, European authorities said last week - a finding that could expose Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW to a large share of the blame for poor air quality in Europe that is believed to cause thousands of deaths annually.

The preliminary decision by the European Commission escalates a scandal that began in 2015 when Volkswagen confessed that it had equipped millions of vehicles in Europe and the United States with software designed to dupe emissions testers.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 13, 2019, with the headline 'Air pollution and Volkswagen, BMW and Daimler's 'secret pact''. Print Edition | Subscribe