A report in the latest edition of AutoBild magazine says that during real world testing an all-wheel drive BMW X3 equipped with a turbo-diesel engine had emissions that were 11 times over the European limit.
According to the German publication, the test was run by Emissions Analytics, a British company, and involved driving a BMW X3 xDrive 20d in real-world conditions for an hour.
The test was prepared for the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), the small non-governmental organisation that commissioned the American report that lead to the discovery of Volkswagen's use of an emissions testing defeat device on around 480,000 US market Volkswagen and Audi diesel-engined cars.
In response, BMW issued a statement declaring: "The BMW Group does not manipulate or rig any emissions tests. We observe the legal requirements in each country and fulfill all local testing requirements.
In other words, our exhaust treatment systems are active whether rolling on the test bench or driving on the road."
It also noted that in two other studies by the ICCT, the BMW X5 and 13 other diesel-engined BMWs complied with relevant oxides of nitrogen (NOx) regulations.
Three vehicles were used in the ICCT commissioned report that triggered the current "dieselgate" affair affecting Volkswagen: a BMW X5, a Volkswagen Jetta, and a Volkswagen Passat. The Jetta and Passat exhibited NOx emissions between five and 35 times beyond the prescribed limit in the US.
BMW noted: "We are not familiar with the test results mentioned by AutoBild on 24 September 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. We are contacting the ICCT and asking for clarification of the test they carried out."
The company is also emphatic that it has "clear, binding specifications and processes ... in place through all phases of development at the BMW Group in order to avoid wrongdoing".