BMW faces class action lawsuit over diesel emissions cheating allegations

by Charles Miller

BMW is facing a class action lawsuit filed in New Jersey over allegations of emissions cheating involving its diesel-powered vehicles, including X5 and 330d models. The lawsuit – filed by BMW owners in Colorado, Maryland, and Pennsylvania – accuses BMW of installing an emissions cheat device on the affected cars in order to hide their high emissions levels from consumers and regulators.

According to the class action complaint against the German automaker, BMW’s 2009-2013 X5 xDrive35d and 2009-2011 330d models were outfitted with an emissions defeat device. This device automatically detected when the affected BMW models were undergoing emissions testing, and lowered the emissions output of these vehicles in order to make the vehicles emit lower levels of nitrogen oxide (NOx) during emissions testing than they do under normal driving conditions.

The class action lawsuit filed against BMW alleges that the only way to achieve the performance and fuel efficiency advertised by the company was to turn down the emissions controls. However, by doing so, the affected BMW models released levels of NOx that exceeded federal environmental regulations – as much as 27 times higher than the maximum level allowed by the EPA, according to the class action complaint.

The lawsuit also accuses BMW of colluding with auto parts maker Robert Bosch Gmbh to outfit the affected diesel models with cheat devices. The complaint alleges that defeat devices manufactured by Bosch were also involved in similar allegations of diesel emissions cheating involving cars made by Chrysler, GM, and Volkswagen.

The class action also accuses BMW of racketeering, corruption, and fraud for misleading consumers about the performance of its vehicles in order to boost sales. The lawsuit accuses the automaker of violating federal RICO statutes as well as consumer protection and unfair trade practices laws in all 50 U.S. states.

Emissions Lawsuits Filed by Heygood, Orr & Pearson

BMW is the latest automaker to face legal action over allegations of diesel emissions cheating. In September 2015, Volkswagen admitted that it had installed cheat devices on 11 million Audi, VW, and Porsche diesel models worldwide. In the wake of the “Dieselgate” scandal, diesel emissions cheating allegations were also leveled against Fiat Chrysler and General Motors. Audi has also faced litigation over emissions cheating allegations on its gasoline-powered models.

If you own or lease a vehicle affected by alleged emissions cheating by Volkswagen, Audi, Fiat Chrysler, or General Motors – including certain Dodge RAM, Chevy Silverado, GMC Sierra, and Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles – contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson to learn more about whether you may qualify to file a claim. You can reach us by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or by following the link to our free case evaluation form and answering a few brief questions to get started.


Case results depend upon a variety of factors unique to each case. Results of other cases do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any future case.

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by Charles Miller

Charles Miller is a licensed attorney and a partner at Heygood, Orr & Pearson. Charles focuses his practice on areas of complex commercial litigation and personal injury litigation.