I don’t envy the automaker trying to get a diesel approved for the U.S. market right now.
The Environmental Protection Agency is on high alert after Volkswagen managed to dupe it and sell a half-million highly polluting cars right under its nose. Now, any automaker that hopes to sell diesels in the U.S. will first need to submit the vehicles in question to rigorous examination and testing by the highly suspicious agency before being given the green light to stock dealers.
Getting the EPA’s sign-off was supremely difficult even before the VW scandal. It was so hard, in fact, that Volkswagen deemed it easier to engineer a cheat device than to engineer a car that could pass the strict emissions requirements.
Automotive News opened a story on the topic with this quote:
Determined to sell diesels in a market with the world’s toughest emissions standards, Volkswagen faced a challenge that even its vaunted engineers found impossible to solve.
So they decided to cheat.
The Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board approved the sale of the new 2016 BMW diesel X5 after government testing found no evidence of software to evade emissions standards, the government said Thursday.
In September, U.S. environmental regulators and Transport Canada announced they would review all current diesel passenger cars, trucks and SUVs for sale to ensure that they did not have “defeat devices.”
There were some initial fears that the VW allegations would unleash a torrent of similar cheating devices by other automakers, but so far it seems isolated to the VW/Audi group.
Diesels, when done right, are still great options for people who want better fuel economy and high torque without the added expense of batteries. Aside from heavy duty trucks, diesel options in the U.S. right now include the Chevy Cruze, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Mercedes-Benz E250, and the BMW 328d.
Are there any diesels on your holiday wish list this year?