New Testing by Suspicious EPA Leads to Diesel Bottleneck, Kills Mercedes-Benz C300d in US
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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