German opposition parties on Tuesday accused Angela Merkel of pandering to the car lobby, after her conservatives received major donations from the family that controls BMW, just as Berlin was lobbying against tougher EU caps on carbon emissions.
Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) said the three donations made on October 9 and totaling 690,000 euros ($932,930) "have no connection to any political decisions".
The funds came days before European Union environment ministers backed German demands to scrap a deal to cap EU car emissions that Berlin had argued would cost jobs and damage its premium auto makers.
The donations came from Johanna Quandt, the widow of industrialist Herbert Quandt who is credited with transforming BMW, and her children Stefan Quandt and Susanne Klatten. The family owns almost 47 percent of BMW.
Juergen Trittin, former co-leader of the Greens, wrote on Twitter that the family had "bought Merkel's climate policy on October 9 for 690,000 euros".