The non–governmental organization German Environment Help caused an uproar late last year when it claimed that the German carmaker BMW had fitted its diesel sedans with a device to cheat on emissions tests despite BMW’s fervent denials.
On Thursday, the German government agency that tests car emissions sided with BMW. The Motor Transport Authority said it had tested a BMW 320d sedan and found that the level of emissions was within legal requirements, both on the test bed and on the road.
“No disallowed defeat devices could be detected,” the agency said. “The results obtained by German Environment Help with increased nitric oxide emissions are due to abnormal operating conditions.”
The agency added that there was no reason to take action against the carmaker.
BMW quickly hailed the findings.
“Vehicles of the BMW Group are not manipulated,” said Klaus Fröhlich, BMW’s top manager for development. “Our diesel engines are clean. The public and politics, and especially our customers and employees, can rely on that. "
The group with the biggest diesel problem has been Volkswagen, which pleaded guilty to violation of environmental laws in the United States and paid out $16 billion in fines and compensation. Prosecutors in Germany are considering other charges against VW and officials of VW subsidiary Audi.
Charles Wallace is an editor with Handelsblatt Global in New York.