The BMW Group has released a statement confirming that Munich’s public prosecutor has opened an investigation into the brand regarding a software update that was “mistakenly allocated” to around 11 400 examples of the 750d and M550d.
On 20 March, employees of the prosecutor’s office searched two BMW Group locations in connection with the investigation.
At the time, the German authorities said that the manufacturer was being investigated on “suspicion of fraud”, with suggestions that it might have used a so-called “defeat device” (similar to that employed by Volkswagen) to manipulate emissions levels during testing.
The BMW Group, however, said that during internal testing it “realised that a correctly developed software module had been allocated in error to models for which it was not suited”.
Therefore, the group planned to recall 11 400 vehicles, for which a corrected software would be made available as soon as it has been approved by the relevant authorities.
“The BMW Group takes the situation very seriously and has a significant interest in the circumstances being fully explained. The company is co-operating fully with the authorities,” the firm said in a statement.
“In addition, the company had already started an internal investigation and will obviously forward all information gathered so far to the authorities. The BMW Group continues to assume that the situation was caused by an incorrect allocation of the software and does not represent a deliberate attempt to manipulate exhaust emissions,” it added.
BMW noted that “many of the affected vehicles were initially sold with the correct software and ran correctly for over two years”, adding that the “incorrect software was employed a significant time after these models originally started production”.