BRUSSELS (Reuters) – BMW, and Volkswagen face possible hefty fines after EU antitrust regulators on Friday charged them and whistleblower Daimler with colluding to block the rollout of clean emissions technology.

In the latest pollution scandal to hit the auto industry, the European Commission said it had sent statements of objections to the German carmakers setting out the charges, nearly two years after carrying out dawn raids at their premises.

It said the collusion occurred between 2006 to 2014 and took place during technical meetings held by the “circle of five”, namely BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen Group’s VW, Audi and Porsche.

“Daimler, VW and BMW may have broken EU competition rules. As a result, European consumers may have been denied the opportunity to buy cars