By on October 24, 2016

2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

After banishing Volkswagen Group diesels from the American marketplace, the Environmental Protection Agency is taking its sweet time approving oil burners from other automakers.

So slow is the EPA in providing regulatory thumbs-ups to 2017 model year diesel vehicles, one automaker is re-thinking its plans for the U.S., Automotive News reports.

Right now, Jaguar is the only automaker selling 2017 diesels in the U.S., though BMW anticipates sales before the end of the year. Bimmer has already secured EPA approval, though the regulatory delay reportedly prompted a production delay for the diesel 3 Series, X3, and X5.

That leaves the likes of General Motors, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, and Mercedes-Benz cooling their heels as they await a green light from the EPA. After the VW fiasco, the regulator wants to make damn sure the vehicles aren’t Trojan Horses for smog.

Speaking to Automotive News, EPA spokesman Nick Conger confirmed its additional testing for 2017 diesel models.

“In general,” he said, manufacturers are okay with the boosted oversight and have adjusted the timing of the models’ rollout.

For Mercedes-Benz, the delay could spark changes in the automaker’s U.S. lineup. The automaker hoped to offer four diesels in the U.S. — the C-Class, GLC, GLE and GLS — but that plan has now changed. Mercedes-Benz spokesman Robert Moran claims testing by “numerous authorities” has had a “considerable impact” on its plans, with the automaker claiming it’s now only seeking approval for the GLS350d.

He confirmed that the C300d won’t show up in the U.S. after all.

For now, the EPA’s diesel due diligence hasn’t impacted GM, as 2016 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyons are still rolling off the line. A healthy new vehicle inventory should hold over FCA as it awaits approval for the 2017 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel and similarly equipped Jeep Grand Cherokee.

[Image: Mercedes-Benz USA]

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45 Comments on “New Testing by Suspicious EPA Leads to Diesel Bottleneck, Kills Mercedes-Benz C300d in US...”


  • avatar
    seth1065

    And I can scratch one more car off the list if I take VW$ to replace my TDI wagon. The choices are few and far between, it is a weird world in the US where VW can not sell oil burners but Jag can.

    • 0 avatar
      Ihatejalops

      Oh boo hoo, diesel should be a banned fuel because it is so polluting.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        Lol, why stop there? All vehicles and non-Gore-approved electricity production should be banned. We can just walk. In the dark.

        I know I can’t wait to leave days ahead of when I’m supposed to buy groceries, only to find empty shelves when I get there, because DUH, no evil polluting diesel trucks to deliver it. Sounds like an Al Gore Paradise!

        (Que the music to “Gangsta’s Paradise”)

        We keep spending most our lives, living in an Al Gore Paradise!

  • avatar
    Nostrathomas

    Assuming the standards are similar, I wonder if this means the C-class wagon won’t be coming to Canada either, as that was supposed to be Diesel only as well. Hopefully that’s not the case, as I’ve been patiently waiting for them for a while now, but it’s been eerily quiet on that front.

    I don’t care about the diesel aspect, it’s the wagon part I want.

    • 0 avatar
      Wunsch

      When I was shopping for a car, the local Mercedes dealer told me they were expecting the C-class wagon to arrive with both a diesel and gas version, but that Mercedes wanted to launch both simultaneously. Whether that’s actually true or just a dealer trying to look like they knew what was going on, I have no idea.

      For me, it doesn’t matter now. I’m happily driving my new BMW wagon :)

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      Pretty sure the EPA can only dictate sales in the US, not Canada.

      • 0 avatar
        Nostrathomas

        Yes, but Canada always seems to follow whatever the US does when it comes to regulations. If they are having issues in the US, chances are they will have them here too.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Canada is just another US state, as far as Mercedes is concerned. Similar to California in population, but can’t match the SoCal snobbery fest.

  • avatar
    shedkept

    Hindering new development. What company is going to stick their neck out to create new technology?

    Two different standards (EU vs. EPA) mean we’ll never see anything here that isn’t so technologically strapped that it will live at the dealer. CEL bulbs will go off if you fart in the cabin.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      Gas, currently, works fine. So does hybrid gas/electric and pure-electric.

      Diesel is facing the same music that the rotary did: it works well enough, but the costs associated with cleaning it up aren’t worth it. This isn’t an issue of standards: diesel is showing that it can’t (cost-effectively) comply in either jurisdiction, at least not once you actually have to test accurately.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        Except all the diesels that DO comply, and I’m pretty sure a diesel Colorado isn’t that expensive.

        Diesel CAN be a viable option, just because VW decided to cheat rather than comply doesn’t mean complying isn’t feasible. There just isn’t as much profit in it when you comply, and performance and MPG can suffer. Instead of engineering a diesel that would pass AND have acceptable performance/MPG, they chose to cheat.

        Other automakers have proven you can pass and attain expected performance/economy levels.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @psarhjinian
        Only in the US, elsewhere selling well. EU regs really hit Co2 hard.

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      “What company is going to stick their neck out to create new technology?”

      Remember the Architects Sketch? That’s the kind of new tech you’re lamenting. Just make sure your new gizmo isn’t an abattoir or poison gas generator.

  • avatar
    shedkept

    Compression ignition (diesel) is the most efficient internal combustion engine produced.

    • 0 avatar
      Zykotec

      And just like gas turbines they are mostly unsuited for cars.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Nobody is disputing their efficiency; it’s the pollution that is being scrutinized.

      • 0 avatar
        Mandalorian

        Exactly. Gasoline is less efficient, but burns a lot cleaner. CO2 is the main byproduct and isn’t great for the environment, but it’s a hell of a lot better than Nitrogen Particulates.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          Gasoline is just more efficient at keeping your money in your wallet.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          There are no Nitrogen particulates, NOx is a gas.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @Mandalorian
          Modern DI Gas engines, have been found to have more particulates than diesel. Cause Cancers. So it will not be too long before an ” AdBlue” turns up for Gas engines.

          • 0 avatar
            FormerFF

            DI gasoline engines produce more particulates, but less total mass of particulates, than does a diesel engine. These particulates can be dealt with by adding a particulate filter. VW, of all makers, is leading the way by voluntarily adding one to their GDI engines:
            http://www.autoevolution.com/news/volkswagen-to-introduce-particulate-filter-for-gasoline-engines-in-2017-110090.html

            Adblue, or as it is generically known, DEF, is used in a selective catalyst setup to lower the oxides of nitrogen in a diesel’s exhaust, not the particulates. That’s done by a diesel particulate filter.

            Hybrid drivetrains using a port injected Aktinson cucle gasolint engine are both very low pollution and highly energy efficient, and are a great choice for general passenger vehicle use.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @FormerFF
            I know ironically that VW is leading the way with Gas engine particulates. Wonder how long before flters become mandatory?

          • 0 avatar
            FormerFF

            Atkinson cycle gasoline engine. D’ohh!

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @FormerFF
            Mazda originally came out with an Atkinson Cycle engine, but it had problems, now Toyota is experiencing problems with it’s 3.5 engine in the Tacoma

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    If I never heard or smelled another diesel engined passenger car ever, I think my life would be improved. I have no problem with them being used in farm equipment or heavy transportation or stationany applications where the narrow power band is not much of an issue, but unlike 70% of Europeans I have no wish to own one as a daily driver at all.

    • 0 avatar
      Mandalorian

      That’s just it. They’re a necessary evil in certain heavy applications, but as a passenger vehicle they do more harm than good. I don’t buy the economy argument. I don’t think I’ve seen diesel prices lower than gas prices in at least 5 years, they’re usually higher by a significant margin. Besides, in stop + go city traffic, any mpg difference is most likely going to be negligible between the two in the long run.

      • 0 avatar

        This is the thing that pisses me off about this whole ordeal. If the EPA really cared about our environment, they’d do something about all the container ships at port and tractors on farms. These cars, which are a drop in the bucket compared to gas models, just aren’t worth the hassle to recall and crush. It’s just more waste on top of the extra pollution.

        I live between a small sea port and flat as a fiddle farmland. My TDI isn’t the problem here, and it pre-dates the tougher emissions requirements that caused VW to cheat, so it no doubt pollutes even more.

        But anyone who blanket dismisses diesels in passenger cars is a rube and a simpleton who doesn’t recognize “different strokes for different folks”. You and your sniffy hybrids are great in big cities, but for us highway commuters and travelers, they simply cannot be beat. Mine’s averaged 45 mpg over 10 years and 330,000 miles, which is not bad and more than makes up the different in diesel cost over regular unleaded. It’s priced like midgrade around these parts and I feel like I get extra performance for the extra price… after all, people buy horsepower but they drive torque and these diesels have that in spades, which makes highway driving a breeze.

        • 0 avatar
          Kenmore

          Well, as with any other attempt at remediation the EPA is constrained to whacking the whackable and NOx producing private cars are whackable.

          VW (at least) schemed, lied and cheated a game whose rules other OEMs comply with for the USDM knowing that if they were busted there’d be unpleasant consequences for you, their happy-to-connive customer.

          The Third Reich bailed on a lot of Ukrainians, too.

  • avatar
    Rday

    My goodness what are all the poseurs going to do….all the arrogant and narcissistic fools that think that driving a Mercedes proves that they are better than the rest of us…LOL. WE need mercedes like another chrysler fiat.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I’m *guessing* the problem with the C300d isn’t one of compliance, but hassle and timing.

  • avatar
    shedkept

    I won’t dignify any comment about the EPA.

  • avatar
    carveman

    Here at this site, Solyndra expects to make enough solar panels each year to generate 500 megawatts of electricity. And over the lifetime of this expanded facility, that could be like replacing as many as eight coal-fired power plants.
    BHO

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    The EPA didn’t banish the VWs VW pulled chose to pull their 2016 diesels because they knew they wouldn’t pass.

    The 2016 Colorado was delayed to undergo actual testing so the other automakers should have known that it would take additional time and submitted them for approval earlier and been prepared to wait.

  • avatar
    TOTitan

    Im glad I got my BMW 335d before they quit importing them. There is nothing else like it at any price……425 lb ft @1700….best road trip car ever.

  • avatar
    7402

    Just curious, but are the GM and FCA vehicles mentioned in the last paragraph subject to different emissions rules as “trucks” rather than “cars”?

  • avatar
    bludragon

    “For now, the EPA’s diesel due diligence hasn’t impacted GM, as 2016 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyons are still rolling off the line.” But they are already approved… and I seem to recall they were later to market than planned, although I don’t know if it was related to emissions or not.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    It is DEFinitely possible to engineer a diesel passenger car to meet emissions standards, but if it doesn’t have a DEF tank, the EPA may very well delay its approval inDEFintely.

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