Volkswagen AG’s diesel-cheating affair deepened as the European Union urged all 28-member countries to start their own investigations and the scandal threatened to ensnare rival BMW AG.
“We are inviting all member states to carry out investigations at the national level,” European Commission spokeswoman Lucia Caudet said in Brussels on Thursday. “We need to have the full picture whether and how many vehicles certified in the EU were equipped with defeat devices.”
In Germany, the transport ministry said Thursday spot checks of vehicles would not be limited to Volkswagen, while BMW shares plunged after a report that a diesel version of the X3 sport utility vehicle emitted more than 11 times the European limit for air pollution in a road test.
The entire auto industry and the methods used for testing vehicles are coming under scrutiny following revelations that VW’s “clean diesel” cars have software intended to defeat emissions tests. The European automakers’ lobby group, the ACEA, on Wednesday placed the blame in VW’s court, issuing a statement saying that “there is no evidence this is an industry-wide issue.”