MUNICH -- German state prosecutors said they searched BMW premises in Germany and Austria, investigating suspected defeat devices capable of manipulating exhaust emissions.
About 100 police and law enforcement officials searched the automaker's Munich headquarters along with research facilities and a factory in Austria.
Legal sources said the facility searched in Austria was BMW's engine plant in Steyr, where the company employs about 4,500 staff and assembles 6,000 engines a day.
Prosecutors said they had opened an investigation last month against unknown persons for suspected fraud.
"There is an early suspicion that BMW has used a test bench-related defeat device," prosecutors said in a statement.
Having long denied its cars are equipped with software designed to game emissions tests, BMW said the findings did not reveal a "targeted manipulation" of emissions cleaning.
The automaker said prosecutors were looking into "erroneously allocated" software in about 11,400 vehicles of the BMW 750d and BMW M550d models.
BMW last month recalled 11,700 cars to fix engine management software, saying it discovered that the wrong programming had been installed.