BMW the giant auto manufacturer got fined by German prosecutors €8.5 million ($9.6 million) because of diesel cars with higher harmful emissions than what is allowed, while adding that the violation was due to an error rather than a deliberate fraud.
"Munich prosecutors have ordered a fine of €8.5 million for the administrative offence of negligence in quality control," investigators said in a statement.
The authorities were carrying out a probe on BMW since early 2018 over suspicions it could have built a so-called "defeat device" into some diesel cars, which a tech solution that can reduce emissions under test conditions, while emitting higher levels of pollutants such as nitrogen oxides (NOx).
In Germany, other auto giants such as the like of Volkswagen paid €1 billion in fines over defeat devices following its 2015 admission that it installed them in 11 million cars worldwide, while high-end subsidiary Audi has paid €800 million.
Prosecutors said that they believed "mistaken labelling of the part of the motor control software responsible for exhaust treatment" was the reason for the increased on-road emissions.
"Extensive investigations" found neither an evidence of a purposely designed defeat device, nor of intent to commit fraud by BMW employees, they added.
Rather, "the company had not set up an appropriate quality control system" that could have prevented the error or revealed it after the fact, the prosecutors found.