Mercedes-Benz unsure about future of diesels in U.S.

by SpeedLux
Mercedes-Benz USA, CEO Dietmar Exler

Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz USA chief stated the automaker has not decided whether to resume offering diesel vehicles in the United States.

The German automaker is yet to be approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to offer 2017 model diesel automobiles.

The EPA stated in September 2015 that it would examine all U.S. diesel automobiles following the confession of Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p. DE) that it had actually installed software application in automobiles enabling them to produce approximately 40 times legally allowable level of contamination.

In April 2016, the United States Department of Justice asked Daimler to examine the emissions certification process for its Mercedes lorries.

Dietmar Exler, CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA, informed reporters at the New York International Auto Show the automaker’s engineers are in talks with EPA regarding the vehicle lorries. He stated he was not familiar with the status of those talks.

Prior to the EPA refusal to approve 2017 model diesel sales, Mercedes-Benz diesels represented just 2-3 percent of U.S. sales, Exler said. “No decision made one way or the other,” on the future of diesel sales, he included.

Exler said the automaker prepares a huge increase in electric vehicles, adding 10 new EVs by 2025 globally, including 7 or 8 pertaining to the United States. “That’s going to be the big focus moving forward,” he said.

He refused to discuss the status of the EPA review, stating if a “regulative examination is ongoing and you are not involved, it does not make good sense to comment.”

In March, German prosecutors stated they had started an investigation into whether Daimler workers may have carried out scams in a probe connected to diesel vehicle emissions.

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