FRANKFURT—German carmaker BMW faces a class-action lawsuit filed in a New Jersey court on March 27 for alleged emissions cheating on diesel vehicles including its X5 and 330d models.
“BMW’s representations were misleading for failure to disclose its emissions manipulations,” the suit, which was filed in the United States District Court of New Jersey, said.
The suit was filed by law firms Steve W Berman from Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, and James E. Cecchi from Carella, Byrne, Cecchi, Olstein, Brody & Agnello, the filings show.
BMW’s X5 model built between 2009 and 2013, and the BMW330d model, which was sold between 2009–2011, emit levels of nitrogen oxide “many times higher than their gasoline counterparts” the suit alleges.
“The vehicles’ promised power, fuel economy, and efficiency are obtained only by turning off or turning down emission controls when the software in these vehicles senses that they are not in an emissions testing environment,” the suit said.
BMW was not immediately available for comment but has said in the past it did not use illegal defeat devices.
Software management programs to manage emissions are not illegal unless they are designed specifically to evade pollution tests, or unless a carmaker fails to disclose their existence.
Shares in BMW reduced gains sharply earlier on March 27 with traders pointing to a Bloomberg report saying the German carmaker was being sued for installing “defeat devices” in U.S. diesel cars.