Due to the recent wave of diesel emission scandals tainting the reputation of the compression engine, auto industry officials and politicians in Germany have come up with a rescue plan to prevent diesel bans in cities, said a report from Automotive News.
The engines will be cleaned up through software updates. The cost of the rescue plan amounts to under 2 billion ($2.33 billion) euros for cars in Germany, with the auto industry agreeing to shoulder the expense of about 100 euros per car.
Diesel cars from all domestic and foreign car brands that conform to the latest emissions standards, Euro-6 and Euro-5, will be updated. With the software updates, the auto industry is able to cut nitrogen oxide pollution by about 20 percent. The plan is set to be presented at the beginning of August.
A committee will be set up to measure the impact of updating diesel cars on individual communities and cities, with a view to averting bans of diesel cars. Auto industry executives and German Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt are due to discuss diesel pollution at a summit on August 2.
After Volkswagen Group confessed to emissions-test cheating in 2015, the entire auto industry has come under scrutiny for nitrogen oxide emissions from their diesel cars. Several other brands were also found in violation of the emissions standards. Also among them is Opel, who admitted fitting defeat devices to the Zafira MPV. Vehicles from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles allegedly also have defeat devices in their cars. This prompted governments in Germany, France and the U.K. To crack down on toxic nitrogen oxide emissions from diesels and set driving bans within ten years for polluting vehicles in Europe.
Last June, four of the world’s biggest cities agreed to ban diesel vehicles from their centres within the next decade, as a means of tackling air pollution, with campaigners urging other city leaders to follow suit. The mayors of Paris, Madrid, Athens and Mexico City announced plans to take diesel cars and vans off their roads by 2025.
Audi, a division of Volkswagen Group, said it would update engine software on up to 850,000 diesel cars. The refit of six and eight cylinder engines will be free of charge for all customers, Audi said.
Audi's plan follows a similar move by Daimler last week, which announced it would spend 220 million euros updating over 3 million European Mercedes-Benz cars with diesel engines.