Mercedes-Benz Drops Plans for Diesel Cars in America in 2017
Another automaker ditches diesel in the U.S.
Due to tightening EPA regulations in America, Mercedes-Benz has decided to steer away from diesel cars in the U.S. After major delays and warnings from Daimler AG, the automaker announced that it will not seek EPA certification—at least for this year—for diesel vehicles, according to Reuters. This comes after a contradicting announcement earlier in the year where the company said it would continue to sell diesel cars here alongside BMW for the foreseeable future.
Although this does away with four diesel models in Mercedes's U.S. lineup, those cars only accounted for two percent of the company's sales in 2016. The automaker's parent company, Daimler, has been strongly suggesting against the sales of combustion-ignition models in America because it's unclear what could be decided by the EPA as an "undisclosed Auxiliary Emission Control Device."
Daimler stated this in its quarterly report:
"In light of the recent notices of violation that were issued by U.S. environmental authorities to another vehicle manufacturer in January 2017, identifying functionalities -- apparently including functionalities that are common in diesel vehicles -- as undisclosed Auxiliary Emission Control Devices and potentially impermissible, and in light of the ongoing governmental information requests, inquiries and investigations and our own internal investigation, it cannot be ruled out that the authorities might reach the conclusion that Mercedes-Benz diesel vehicles have similar functionalities,"
Many have seen what has happened to Volkswagen as a result of the Dieselgate scandals, cautioning them for the coming years. VW is facing billions of dollars in fines along with a three-year probation that requires independent oversight of operations.
Though Benz hasn't ruled out diesel vehicles completely for the future, it wouldn't be surprising to see the company withdraw them indefinitely. There's a lot of risk involved in today's market, but we'll wait to see what it decides in the future.