German Cities Free to Ban Older Diesel Cars Immediately

This is one step that the European nation is making to remedy air pollution.

byAlejandra O'Connell-Domenech|


German cities are now free to ban older diesel vehicles in order to decrease air pollution levels and align them with European Union standards, a recent Reuters report details.

The European Commission recently complained to Europe’s top court about Germany’s repeated inability to protect air quality in its cities. Details of the German ruling will possibly pressure Volkswagen and its local peers to provide hardware fixes for polluting diesel models, according to Reuters.

Last week, Germany’s administrative court in Leipzig said in a 30-page written statement that there should be no grace period for the driving ban.

“Such restrictions, in their intensity, do not go beyond other passage and stopping bans as justified by road law requirements, which motorists always have to reckon with and which they principally have to accept,” the court said.

In February, Germany ruled to allow environmental groups to sue cities which fail to enforce Europe’s clean air rules, despite intense lobbying from carmakers to oppose such bans.

Multiple cities across the country such as Hamburg, Munich, and Stuttgart have consistently exceeded nitrogen oxide limits, a compound that is known to cause respiratory irritation and disease.

In an attempt to battle global warming, European carmakers have invested heavily in diesel engines which produce less carbon than their gas-guzzling counterparts, but conversely produce other pollutants linked to causing illness.

There is concern, however, about how 10 million manipulated-diesel car owners will travel after the immediate ban.

Immediate driving bans on major roads or road sections would be legitimate and could affect all models except those meeting the latest Euro-6 emission standards, said the ruling statement.