Automotive News: BMW Raided, Daimler Claims Immunity, Kia Soul Recall, Fiat Chrysler, Toxic Car Fumes

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BMW raided in cartel investigation as Daimler claims immunity

BMW’s (BMWG.DE) headquarters were raided by European Union officials investigating an alleged cartel among German carmakers, it said on Friday, as rival Daimler (DAIGn.DE) claimed whistleblower status in an effort to avoid fines.

EU staff had “conducted an inspection” at BMW’s Munich offices this week, the premium carmaker said in a statement, adding that it is “assisting the European Commission in its work”.

The EU’s Brussels executive said its antitrust officials had swooped unannounced on “a carmaker in Germany” on Monday Oct. 16 in the first confirmed raid related to allegations that several German automakers had engaged in an illegal cartel.

The competition watchdog said in July that it was investigating collusion among German carmakers in response to a tip-off after Der Spiegel magazine reported that Daimler, BMW, Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) and its Audi and Porsche arms conspired to fix prices in diesel and other technologies over decades. read more »

Steering Issue Forces Recall of Kia Soul in the US

Certain Kia Soul models have been recalled in the United States for an issue related to the power steering.

According to the automaker, affected models may have a faulty steering pinion plug that allows the pinion gear to separate from the steering rack, causing the vehicle to lose steering functionality. Kia says 342,381 vehicles are affected, all built between July 21, 2013 and September 30, 2015. read more »

Fiat Chrysler accused of obstructing French diesel inquiry

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is the subject of a French judicial inquiry into suspected obstruction of an investigation into diesel emissions cheating, reports said.

Following Volkswagen Group's admission of cheating on U.S. diesel-emission tests, France began testing vehicles to check differences between laboratory results and real-world emissions. France's DGCCRF consumer fraud watchdog referred VW, Renault, Fiat Chrysler and PSA to prosecutors for investigation over suspected test manipulation.

Le Monde newspaper and Reuters said Fiat Chrysler is under suspicion of obstructing the inquiry. read more »

London's £10 T-charge comes into effect in fight against toxic car fumes

Drivers of older, more polluting petrol and diesel cars in centre of capital now liable for fee on top of congestion charge

Drivers of the most polluting vehicles must from now on pay a daily charge of up to £21.50 to drive in to central London.

From Monday, people driving older, more polluting petrol and diesel vehicles will be liable for the £10 T-charge, on top of the congestion charge of £11.50, which has been in place since 2003.

The charge has been introduced in an effort to improve air quality in the capital, where legal pollution limits are regularly exceeded. The mayor, Sadiq Khan, said he wanted to prepare Londoners for the ultra-low emission zone being introduced in April 2019. read more