The European Union has launched an investigation into Volkswagen, BMW and Daimler amid suspicions the automakers colluded to delay the rollout of clean emissions technology.
The EU Commission alleges the three companies held meetings in which they agreed to limit or delay the development and rollout of various clean emissions technologies. According to Reuters, these technologies included catalytic reduction devices and particulate filters. Delaying the rollout of such technologies could have saved the automakers money in regards to both production and development costs.
“These technologies aim at making passenger cars less damaging to the environment,” EU competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, said in a prepared statement. “If proven, this collusion may have denied consumers the opportunity to buy less polluting cars, despite the technology being available to the manufacturers.”
Authorities raided the headquarters of the three automakers in Germany last October as part of a preliminary investigation into the matter. It launched the formal in-depth investigation on Tuesday, which has the aim of establishing “whether the conduct of BMW, Daimler and VW may have violated EU antitrust rules that prohibit cartels and restrictive business practices, including agreements to limit or control technical development.”
VW, BMW and Daimler are cooperating with the investigation.