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

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
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new testing by suspicious epa leads to diesel bottleneck kills mercedes benz c300d

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]

Steph Willems
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  • Bludragon Bludragon on Oct 24, 2016

    "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.

  • FormerFF FormerFF on Oct 24, 2016

    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.

  • TMA1 How much did exchange rates affect this decision? The Renegade is imported from Italy. I'm wondering if that's what caused the price to reach within a few hundred of the much bigger Compass. Kind of a no-brainer to pick the larger, more modern vehicle.
  • CEastwood Everytime I see one of these I think there's a dummie who could have bought a real car , but has to say look at me driving this cool thing I can't drive in the rain like an actual motorcycle that I should have bought in the first place ! It's not Batman I see driving these - it's middle age Fatman .
  • SilverCoupe I should be the potential audience for this (current A5 owner, considering an S5 in the future), but I can't say it excites me. I have never liked the vertical bars in the grilles of sporting Mercedes models, for one thing. The interior doesn't speak to me either.I would be more likely to consider a BMW 4 Series, though not the current version with the double Edsel grille. Still, I suppose it would be worth a look when the time comes to replace my current vehicle.
  • Verbal Can we expect this model to help M-B improve on finishing 29th out of 30 brands in CR's recent reliability survey?
  • Lou_BC I kept wanted to say "Book 'Em Danno" while looking at the photos of the Mercury but this car predate Hawaii Five - O by 3 years.