Report: ‘Clean Diesel’ Cars Fade In US

Automakers appear to be increasingly abandoning efforts to sell more fuel-efficient diesel vehicles in the U.S. in the wake of Volkswagen's emissions scandal.

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Automakers appear to be increasingly abandoning efforts to sell more fuel-efficient diesel vehicles in the U.S. in the wake of Volkswagen's emissions scandal.

Daimler, the owner of Mercedes-Benz, became the latest following this week's announcement that it ceased its pursuit of regulatory approval of certain passenger vehicles.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the German automaker cited increased regulatory scrutiny of fuel-efficient diesel vehicles, but also noted that consumer demand for those vehicles remains low.

Diesel cars were long popular as passenger vehicles in Europe, where fuel prices are higher, but they struggled to catch on compared to gasoline engines in the U.S.

Some companies, including Mercedes-Benz, touted newer diesel vehicles as a more fuel-efficient alternative to gasoline, but many now believe those efforts are not worth the trouble for such a small segment of the overall U.S. auto market.

Volkswagen marketed hundreds of thousands of vehicles sold in the U.S. as "clean diesel," but they were actually equipped with software designed to manipulate their emissions levels during official testing. During routine driving, those cars could emit more than 40 times the U.S. limit for nitrogen oxide.

Volkswagen, the Journal noted, said following the crisis that it is unlikely to sell diesel vehicles in the U.S. in the future.

Daimler's diesel engines, meanwhile, were also not without controversy. Some owners in the U.S. filed a class-action lawsuit last year over their emissions levels. Daimler also conducted a separate internal probe of its exhaust emissions certification process at the request of U.S. authorities.

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