In 2016, nine brands sold 20 diesel models in the U.S. But in light of the Volkswagen diesel emission scandal, a number from Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche have been sidelined. But there are diesel models from GM, FCA, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, and Land Rover still being offered. But the only 2017 models you can buy at the moment are from Jaguar and Land Rover. Where are the rest? In limbo thanks to a new battery of tests being doing by the EPA.
Automotive News reports that since last October, the EPA has been subjecting diesel models to new tests to determine if other automakers are pulling any sneaky cheats. The EPA hasn't said anything publicly about the tests aside from them keeping the vehicles and testing them in unpredictable ways. So far, the new tests haven't uncovered any cheating.
"It is true that diesel vehicles are getting extra scrutiny and that has extended the certification process longer than normal. In general, manufacturers have been supportive of this additional testing and have adjusted their timing to account for the additional test duration," EPA spokesman Nick Conger said to Automotive News.
Case in point, BMW will not be launching their 2017 3-Series and X3 diesels until the end of the year, with the X5 following in January. Meanwhile, sources at GM tell Automotive News they're awaiting approval for 2017 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon diesels before they start sending them out to dealers. FCA doesn't have any 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee or Ram 1500 EcoDiesels at the moment despite press details saying they would be offered. An FCA spokesman declined to comment to Automotive News - our guess is that FCA is waiting.
Mercedes-Benz could be the big loser with this extensive testing. The German automaker was planning to sell four diesel models; C-Class sedan, GLC, GLE, and GLS. Mercedes-Benz spokesman Robert Moran tells Automotive News in an email that the priority for the moment is getting the certification for the GLS. Moran declined to say if Mercedes is planning to offer diesel versions of the GLC and GLE. However, the C-Class diesel has been taken off the table due to "product strategy reasons." This model was supposed to go on sale at the beginning of this year.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)