BMW Sued Over Emissions Cheating In U.S. Over X5 And 335d Diesels (Updated)

A class-action lawsuit was filed today in New Jersey by law firm Hagens Berman, stating that emissions-cheating software was installed in tens of thousands of diesel-powered BMW vehicles, masking pollution up to 27 times the legal standard.

The models in question are the 2009-2011 BMW X5 and 2009-2011 BMW 335d, which are said to have achieved the power, fuel economy and efficiency promised by the German automaker only through illegal tampering.

Based on Hagens Berman’s independent investigation (including vehicle testing), the two models emit levels of NOx many times higher than what BMW advertised when first telling the public that BMW diesels are “environmentally friendly” and that they “meet emissions standards in all 50 states.”

“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,” stated Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman.

He then added: “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. 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.”

Emissions as high as 27 times over the legal standard, claims lawsuit

BMW also stands accused of having colluded with Robert Bosch GmbH and Robert Bosch LLC to create the software used to mask the high levels of pollution during emissions testing. During their tests, Hagens Berman found that highway emissions in the X5 diesel and 335d can get as high as 20 times the normal standard on the highway, and 27 times during city driving.

The lawsuit also states that BMW’s decision to use emissions cheating software was driven by their goal to bolster revenue and increase its share of the diesel market. In the end, the automaker “resorted to orchestrating a fraudulent scheme and conspiracy.”

At the same time, Bosch is accused of working with “BMW, VW, Mercedes, Ford, GM and FCA to develop and implement a specific and unique set of software algorithms to surreptitiously evade emissions regulations”.

“Based on our knowledge of Bosch’s widespread involvement, we believe BMW was fully aware of this scheme involving its top-selling diesel models. BMW blatantly chose to leave its loyal customers in the dark, forcing them to unknowingly fit the bill for its degradation of the environment,” concluded Berman.

We’ve reached out to BMW for a comment and will update this post as soon as we hear back.

BMW’s response on the class action lawsuit

A BMW spokesperson sent us the following statement:  “We do not comment on active litigation, but we are thoroughly studying the suit to understand just what is alleged. As a matter of principle, BMW Group vehicles are not manipulated and comply with all respective legal requirements.”

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  • PK

    2018 is not BMW’s year.

    • Dolph Lundgrenade

      I think they just posted ridiculous growth figures. Do you mean that it isn’t their year because their cars are less BMW now and more grandma Lexus? I’d agree. They need less models, less generic performance, and just focus on their core “drivers” cars… But people keep multiplying so soon nobody will drive due to congestion. More people, less jobs, no cars, or wholesome food… But yeah, diesel is the problem… Ha ha ha. Rubbish.

  • Howstar

    ooooh sh*ts going south

  • Merc1

    Lawyers make me sick. Bosch shouldn’t be in this. Don’t they get that they’re a supplier and only do what the companies contract them to do?


    • Six_Tymes


    • Matt Powell

      Right. So if I hire an assassin… is he not liable for murder if caught.??? Just me, cause I made the contract??? Gotcha….

  • krusshall

    At this point in time it has nothing to do with actual emissions but rather how much money this law firm can earn pushing this type of lawsuit through.

    • disqus_8YchtRit8p

      AMG had a class action suit. Tossed.

  • Autoexperte


  • TrevP

    They are gonna get all of those manufacturers. Good one guys.

  • Galaxium

    I wouldn’t mind seeing the end of diesel except for necessary utility vehicles.

    • disqus_8YchtRit8p

      18 wheelers move most consumer goods.

      • Galaxium

        I consider trailer trucks and the like as utility vehicles. Since their purpose is for utility and transport.

    • Dolph Lundgrenade

      There is nothing wrong with clean diesel. My diesel doesn’t smoke or smell at all. It gets great gas mileage as well plus it makes efficient use of that mighty turbo power. Diesel exhaust fluid captures particulate (look it up). The real polluters ARE the large trucks/18 wheelers crossing land, big equipment digging/moving earth, and ships crossing from China that emit thick black toxins into atmosphere. Clean them up with def systems and pollution will decrease unbelievably. #realtalk

      • Galaxium

        Diesels are noisy and emit more pollutants than gasoline. Especially after the VW fiasco, I’d rather not deal with diesel vehicles and their pollutants.

        • Dolph Lundgrenade

          Again, this a reference to old tech diesels that aren’t clean or quiet. My diesel BMW is very quiet with no clatter sounds that vw and old mercs had. Despite the accusation against them it still gets 38-40 on the highway which is amazing considering it has 270hp and 420ft lbs of torque as well.

        • James Koenig

          My 335D is QUIET. stop talking out of your ass Galaxium

  • disqus_8YchtRit8p

    No charges have been laid against BMW as yet, in fact they still sell diesel. This began with a report in Der Spiegel from a “disgruntled former VW employee” implicating BMW. Ironic because VW are charged, fined & imprisoned. Apparently Daimler also implicated BMW in an effort to get their own charges reduced. BMW’s offices were raided this month so this will be interesting to follow. Ironically they are suspending some ICE production because they don’t meet new standards, any of their diesels have passed, until the uncited, for profit tests reported on here.

  • Vanishing Boy

    Whats with the hatred of Diesels!? DAMN!

    • Dolph Lundgrenade

      People with bias and no basis. Do some research before hating on modern diesel outputs. I don’t like jacked up diesel trucks that shoot black plooms constantly but that can and should be regulated. Diesel as a fuel with updated systems is more efficient and less damaging than petrol emissions.

      • Vanishing Boy

        The problem is these diesels hasn’t killed anyone, and now they’re treated like criminals worse than those airbag/unintended acceleration/ignition recalls!

        Rolling Coal cars/trucks are a culture on which is based on individual choices, not as a whole general diesel community. They belong in the aftermarket community, not the OEM manufacturer.

        I should say the OEM should not be liable on these heavy penalties by these (stupid & outrageous) regulations.

  • One by One.

  • Auf Wiedersehen

    Oh man! These Germans! I’m never buying a BMW ever again! They should be jailed! Think of how many people died prematurely due their arrogance! Think of the environmental impact! Think of the lost revenue! Think of the people being duped!! MY GOD….THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!

    There, that should cover all that will be said, like the pissing and moaning about VW.

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