Scared Silly

Costly diesel refits loom for automakers in Germany

tunnel, driving ban, diesel refits
Industry paralysis. Source: Alex Hofford / DPA

The German transport ministry is urging automakers to agree to expensive engine refits of older diesel cars so that they can avert looming driving bans in cities.

Vehicles sold before the EU’s Euro 6 standard on toxic emissions was introduced in September 2014 could be barred from major cities such as Stuttgart and Düsseldorf under a possible landmark ruling by Germany’s top administrative court, which will conduct a hearing on the matter on Thursday.

“We need refits so that the six million owners of Euro 5 vehicles have a chance to keep on using their vehicles after the decision by the Federal Administrative Court,” said a source in the Transport Ministry.

Experts agree that refits would work. In a study conducted for a ministerial working group, Georg Wachtmeister, professor of engine technology at Munich’s Technical University, concluded that installing exhaust cleaning systems in older engines would be a “very efficient measure.”

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