FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The German auto industry's troubles over excessive diesel emissions are looming larger.
Shares in the three biggest German automakers fell Monday after a newsmagazine report claimed they had colluded for years over diesel technology.
BMW was off 2.6 percent, Daimler 3.7 percent and Volkswagen 2.6 percent. Shares also fell Friday after Der Spiegel published its findings online.
Spiegel reported that employees from Volkswagen, Audi, BMW, Mercedes and Porsche had met often since the 1990s and had agreed to limit the size of the tanks holding a urea solution used to reduce diesel emissions, cutting costs and freeing space in the vehicles.
BMW issued a statement denying that its urea tanks were too small to provide adequate exhaust treatment and said its vehicles' emissions met legal requirements.
Officials at the European Union's executive Commission said in a statement that they and the German competition authority, the Bundeskartellamt, have received information on the matter, which is currently being assessed by the Commission.
The Spiegel report follows announcements last week by Daimler that it is recalling 3 million diesels to improve their emissions performance through an update of engine control software, and by Volkswagen's luxury Audi brand that it was doing the same with 850,000 vehicles. Daimler also said it would speed up the deployment of new engines.
The steps come as a way to head off calls for banning diesel vehicles from some German cities where air pollution levels exceed limits.