BMW sued in US over diesel emissions

German prosecutors and police have searched offices at the Munich headquarters of automaker BMW on Tuesday, March 3, 2018 in connection with an investigation into suspected manipulation of diesel vehicle emissions. (AP)
Updated 28 March 2018

BMW sued in US over diesel emissions

NEW YORK: German luxury carmaker BMW has been sued in the United States over “defeat devices” installed in tens of thousands of vehicles in order to cheat diesel emissions tests, lawyers for the plaintiffs said Tuesday.
The case, filed in federal court in New Jersey, will become a class-action suit once it is certified by a judge.
The suit singles out the BMW X5 and 335D model diesel cars sold between 2009 and 2013.
The attorneys at the Hagens Berman firm claim emissions from those cars were as much as 27 times higher than the standard allowed — a fact masked by the “defeat devices” and their “manipulative software.”
“At these levels, these cars aren’t just dirty — they don’t meet standards to be legally driven on US streets and no one would have bought these cars if BMW had told the truth,” said Steve Berman, the firm’s managing partner.
“BMW blatantly chose to leave its loyal customers in the dark, forcing them to unknowingly fit the bill for its degradation of the environment.”
BMW is the latest automaker to face legal action over emissions violations — rival Volkswagen was found to have built “defeat devices” into more than 11 million cars worldwide in the so-called “dieselgate” scandal.
The attorneys are seeking reimbursement for their clients for their car purchases.
A week ago, German authorities raided BMW headquarters in Munich and another site in Austria in connection with a preliminary investigation into possible fraud relating to emissions cheat systems built into more than 11,000 cars.
BMW confirmed the raids and repeated the company’s stance that “a correctly programmed software subroutine was mistakenly allocated to incompatible models.”
In February, the German automaker admitted the software was present in some vehicles and said it would recall them for a software update as soon as one was approved by the KBA German vehicle licensing authority.
Volkswagen eventually was ordered to pay huge fines in the United States in connection with “dieselgate.”
Since that scandal erupted, several automakers have been accused of using software to skirt emissions standards.


Analysts urge Canada to focus on boosting the economy

Updated 06 July 2020

Analysts urge Canada to focus on boosting the economy

  • Canada lost one of its coveted triple-A ratings in June when Fitch downgraded it for the first time

TORONTO: Canada should focus on boosting economic growth after getting pummeled by the COVID-19 crisis, analysts say, even as concerns about the sustainability of its debt are growing, with Fitch downgrading the nation’s rating just over a week ago.

Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau will deliver a “fiscal snapshot” on Wednesday that will outline the current balance sheet and may give an idea of the money the government is setting aside for the future.

As the economy recovers, some fiscal support measures, which are expected to boost the budget deficit sharply, could be wound down and replaced by incentives meant to get people back to work and measures to boost economic growth, economists said.

“The only solution to these large deficits is growth, so we need a transition to a pro-growth agenda,” said Craig Wright, chief economist at Royal Bank of Canada. The IMF expects Canada’s economy to contract by 8.4 percent this year. Ottawa is already rolling out more than C$150 billion in direct economic aid, including payments to workers impacted by COVID-19.

Further stimulus measures could include a green growth strategy, as well as spending on infrastructure, including smart infrastructure, economists said. Smart infrastructure makes use of digital technology.

“We have to make sure that government spending is calibrated to the economy of the future rather than the economy of the past,” Wright said.

Canada lost one of its coveted triple-A ratings in June when Fitch downgraded it for the first time, citing the billions of dollars in emergency aid Ottawa has spent to help bridge the downturn caused by COVID-19 shutdowns.

Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and DBRS still give Canadian debt the highest rating. At DBRS, Michael Heydt, the lead sovereign analyst on Canada, says his concern is about potential structural damage to the economy if the slowdown lingers too long.

Fiscal policymakers “need to be confident that there is a recovery underway before they start talking about (debt) consolidation,” Heydt said.

Fitch expects Canada’s total government debt will rise to 115.1 percent of GDP in 2020 from 88.3 percent in 2019.

Royce Mendes, a senior economist at CIBC Capital Markets, said the economy still needs more support.

“Turning too quickly toward austerity would be a clear mistake,” he said.