Massive fines could be on the way for the German trio.
The VW Group's emission scandal was a stark example of how even a major auto manufacturer was not above developing devious methods to bypass emissions regulations to earn an extra buck. Extreme market pressures and prohibitive emissions regulations may have been contributing factors, but every other automaker had to deal with the same scenario which has led some to wonder whether VW was the only one at fault or just the only one caught red-handed.
The European regulators must have had the same suspicions hence their raiding of the offices of BMW and Daimler among others over the past two years.
There were various reports of price fixing and collusion between the major German automakers and today, according to a report by Automotive News Europe, the European Union antitrust regulators filed charges against Daimler, BMW and the Volkswagen Group.
The accusation this time was of a collusion to block the rollout of emissions-cleaning technology for both gas and diesel cars. Daimler, the original whistle-blower regarding this particular case said that they did not expect to be fined while BMW and VW said they were still reviewing the charges.
The commission said the collusion occurred between 2006 to 2014 and took place during technical meetings held by the "circle of five", namely BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen Group's VW, Audi and Porsche. "Daimler, VW and BMW may have broken EU competition rules. As a result, European consumers may have been denied the opportunity to buy cars with the best available technology," European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.
This case was said not to be related to other investigations of illegal defeat devices and if found guilty the fines could equal ten percent of a company's global turnover. We'll have to wait and see whether these allegations result in any further prosecutions over the coming months.