German top-of-the-range carmaker BMW on Thursday denied suggestions in a newspaper report that it might have cheated in pollution tests on its diesel cars, as rival group VW has admitted to doing.
"The BMW group does not manipulate or rig any emissions tests. We observe the legal requirements in each country and adhere to all local testing requirements," it said in a statement after a report in the weekly Auto Bild claimed that emissions from one of its diesel cars exceeded European Union norms by 11 times.
The report had sent BMW's shares into a tailspin on the Frankfurt stock exchange, as investors feared that other manufacturers were also involved in the massive pollution scam at Volkswagen.
According to Auto Bild, one of BMW's diesel cars produced dangerous gases that exceed EU anti-pollution limits.
"Volkswagen is not the only carmaker whose cars produce high levels of nitrogen oxide," said the magazine, accusing certain vehicles of the BMW group of the same.
It quoted road tests carried out by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) which found that BMW's X3 xDrive equipped with 20d diesel motors produce gas emissions that are 11 times higher than European limits.
"All these data show that the problem is not specific to VW," Peter Mock from ICCT was quoted as saying.
The ICCT had been at the origin of the stunning revelations of cheating by Volkswagen, which went public last Friday when the United States announced a probe.
"When it comes to our vehicles, there is no difference in the treatment of exhaust emissions whether they are on rollers (eg. test bench situation) or on the road," BMW said.
"We are not familiar with the test mentioned by Auto Bild concerning the emissions of a BMW X3 during a road test. No specific details of the test have yet been provided and therefore we cannot explain these results," it said.
"We will contact the ICCT and ask for clarification of the test they carried out," the carmaker added.
Investors appeared sceptical.
After already falling nearly 10 percent earlier, the shares were still showing a loss of 6.7 percent after the company's denial.