German giants Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW cannot seem to run away from the Dieselgate scandal. In the most recent development pertaining to the Big Three’s involvement in the scam, the European Commission has opened a formal investigation into whether the automakers conspired to avoid competition in developing clean emission tech.

An official statement that was issued by the European Commission, stated that it was looking into whether the automakers agreed to compete with each other on developing and launching systems to reduce harmful emissions from gasoline and diesel cars.

In October 2017, the commission had conducted a series of raids in the automaker’s premises as a part of its initial inquiries.

The Commission is primarily focussing on the assessment of the companies’ involvement to limit the development and launch selective catalytic reduction systems which reduce nitrogen oxide from diesel-car emissions and “Otto” particulate filters that reduce particulate-matter emissions from gasoline cars.

“These technologies aim at making passenger cars less damaging to the environment. If proved, this collusion may have denied consumers the opportunity to buy less polluting cars, despite the technology being available to the manufacturers,” European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said.

The European Commission has opened a formal investigation into whether the automakers conspired to avoid competition in developing clean emissions tech.

In October 2017, the commission had conducted a series of raids in the automakers’ premises as part of its initial inquiries. According to an EU executive, its investigations were focused on information indicating whether the firms had tried to sidestep regulations.