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September 25, 2015 — Volkswagen (VW) admitted rigging emissions tests on millions of vehicles, and now the crisis is spreading to other auto-makers.

The scandal sent shockwaves through Germany as auto-makers BMW and Mercedes were accused of selling vehicles that exceed acceptable emissions levels. The companies have denied that they designed their cars to cheat emissions tests.

The German trade magazine Auto Bild reported that the diesel BMW X3 emitted over 11X more nitrogen oxide than allowed in Europe.

A report by Transport & Environment tested a number a vehicles and found that the average diesel car produced emissions 5X higher than permitted.

Some vehicles from BMW and Opel emitted 10X as much pollution on the road as in the lab. Nearly every Mercedes that was tested spewed 50% more carbon dioxide on the road than in the lab.

Researchers exposed several ways auto-makers manipulate emissions tests, warning:

“Through trickery, the gap between official fuel economy figures and those achieved by an average driver have grown to 40%. For new diesel cars nitrogen oxide emissions are typically five times higher on the road than the allowed limit and just one in 10 cars meets the required level on the road.”