German automaker Daimler stated on Tuesday it had dropped plans to look for U.S. approval to offer 2017 Mercedes-Benz U.S. diesel models, however had not chosen whether to leave the American passenger diesel market.
“We continuously evaluate our portfolio offerings and make changes to satisfy instant customer need,” Mercedes-Benz USA representative Rob Moran said in an e-mail. “Integrated with the increased effort to certify diesel motors in the U.S., we have actually put the certification process for diesel automobile on hold.”
There has been growing scrutiny of diesel automobiles in the United States since Volkswagen confessed in September 2015 to installing secret software on 580,000 U.S. vehicles that allowed them to release approximately 40 times lawfully permitted emissions. Volkswagen was sentenced last month after pleading guilty in the emissions scandal.
Last month, Daimler said investigations by officials of diesel emissions and auxiliary emission control devices might lead to substantial penalties and recalls.
The U.S. Justice Department, EPA, California Air Resources Board and a prosecutor in Stuttgart, Germany, are looking into emissions of Mercedes-Benz diesel automobiles.
In March, the Stuttgart prosecutor started an investigation against Daimler employees on suspicion of fraud and misleading advertising connected to automobile emissions.
The company told Automotive News in October that it prepared to look for approval to offer four U.S. Mercedes diesel models for the 2017 model year. Last year, Mercedes-Benz provided 4 U.S. diesel models.