Scientific findings regarding nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter had repeatedly shown the negative health effects, three EU commissioners wrote in a response to Scheuer, seen by the newspaper. The EU legal limit of 40 micrograms nitrogen oxide pollution per cubic metre could be extended to 50 micrograms in some cases to ensure that diesel bans only take effect in cities that significantly exceeded pollution limits.
Diesel cars regain market shares for the first time in Germany since the inception of the Dieselgate scandal in late , newspaper Die Welt reports. In January, more than 34 percent of new car registrations in Germany were diesel, an increase of 2 percent over the year before. Germany's national environment agency UBA says that according to preliminary estimates, pollution in German cities — mainly caused by diesel vehicles — decreased slightly in This was due to local measures such as speed limits, traffic restrictions, renewal of vehicle fleets and the weather, UBA says, adding that many cities still exceeded EU pollution limits.
More than , owners of VW diesel vehicles in Germany join a so-called model lawsuit by consumer associations in order to make the carmaker pay compensation for the victims of emissions manipulations. The legal action had been made possible by new legislation which took effect on 1 November and was hurried through to beat a year-end statute of limitations for claims against VW. VW says it eyes a phase-out of combustion engines , but will sell conventional cars until the early s.
Under the new law, driving bans will only be seen as a proportionate measure to ensure clean air in cities if they are higher than 50 micrograms. A court in the western German city of Gelsenkirchen has ordered the first driving ban for older diesel cars on an Autobahn , the German highway famous for its long sections without speed limits. In a further setback for government efforts to get the diesel crisis under control, the regional administrative court in Western German city Cologne has ordered city authorities in Cologne and in neighbouring Bonn to introduce driving bans for older diesel cars.
An EU ministerial meeting dedicated to the consequences of the diesel scandal is cancelled after German transport minister Andreas Scheuer said he would not be able to participate because of other appointments. The Volkswagen Group announces investments of nearly 44 billion euros in e-mobility , autonomous driving, digitalisation, and other modernisation measures. A large majority of Germans is not satisfied with the way the federal government aims to prevent diesel driving bans in inner cities, according to a survey by online pollster YouGov.
About two-thirds of respondents said Chancellor Angela Merkel is not standing up decisively enough for the interests of diesel drivers. Almost three-quarters stated that they had no confidence that the government and the car industry would agree on a compromise that could largely prevent driving bans. German NGO Transport Club Germany VCD , one of the most vocal critics of German car companies in the ongoing dieselgate emissions fraud scandal, re-includes diesel vehicles in its ranking of eco-friendly cars.
German premium car brand Audi, a division of Volkswagen, says it is fined million euros for violations tied to heavily polluting six and eight-cylinder diesel engines. Luxury carmaker Porsche — a VW subsidiary — says it will no longer produce cars with diesel engines, and instead focus on expanding its product range with electric or hybrid vehicles. The European Commission opens an in-depth investigation to assess whether BMW , Daimler and VW colluded, in breach of EU antitrust rules, to avoid competition on the development and roll-out of technology to clean the emissions of petrol and diesel passenger cars.
German Consumer Organisations vzbv and auto club ADAC say they will file the first major class action lawsuit in Germany against Volkswagen on 1 November, the day on which class action lawsuits will become permissible in the country. While experts commissioned by the federal government at the diesel summit in agree that diesel vehicle hardware retrofitting is an effective measure to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions, transport minister Scheuer continues to oppose the measure, and confirms that the government will present a plan on how to deal with the issue by the end of September.
German carmakers fight a proposal by the EU Parliament to tighten future fleet emission limits. Petrol cars represent 62 percent of all new registrations in Germany , while the share of diesel cars amounts to 33 percent and the share of purely electric cars stands at 0. Luxury carmaker Daimler reportedly has to recall about , cars throughout Europe that need to be equipped with a new software, following an order by the Federal Motor Transport Authority KBA.
Meanwhile, another report says new VW CEO Herbert Diess knew about his company's emissions fraud software much earlier than he previously conceded. This might constitute a violation of the company's investors' rights.
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VW , on the other hand, fires several leading employees, including board member and former chief of development, Heinz-Jakob Neusser, for allegedly revealing confidential information about the company's emissions manipulation to prosecutors. The government of Baden-Wurttemberg earlier had met with the federal government to discuss how a planned driving ban in the city of Stuttgart could be implemented.
Transport minister Scheuer threatens steep fines unless Daimler agreed to full transparency and cooperation. After an initial trial phase, the police begins enforcing the ban at the beginning of June. He says VW could not afford to pay billions of euros for mechanical retrofitting of manipulated cars in Germany as it was already burdened by fines in the US.
"Dieselgate" - a timeline of Germany's car emissions fraud scandal
The NGO Environmental Action Germany DUH has said it is sceptical of government efforts to prevent the looming driving bans on diesel cars in inner cities, as well as a lawsuit by the European Union over excessive air pollution. The DUH acted as the plaintiff that set the ball rolling on driving bans by launching legal proceedings in the city of Stuttgart.
A survey by pollster YouGov revealed that Germans are split over driving bans. Less than a third of respondents said they were very concerned that NOx pollution from diesel fumes could damage their health. Volkswagen suspends its chief lobbyist , Thomas Steg, following reports that the company helped funding tests in which researchers studied the effects of substances contained in diesel emissions on monkeys and humans. At the University of Aachen "25 young and healthy people were examined after having inhaled nitrogen dioxide in different concentrations over several hours," the report says.
Meanwhile, a study by the Center for Automotive Research CAR said ten German cities considerably exceed EU nitrogen oxide, making diesel driving bans more likely in , newspaper Tagesspiegel reports. The carmaker rejected the accusations and insisted that it did not use such devices. DUH said this was illegal because it affected normal driving conditions. The share of new cars sold with diesel engines now stands at 34 percent. At a second meeting with representatives from states and municipalities on 28 November, the chancellery repeated its willingness to set up an ad-hoc programme worth one billion euros to improve air quality in German cities.
The money will be used on the electrification of vehicles such as public buses and digitalisation measures in traffic management systems in communities with high nitrogen oxide emissions, a paper by the chancellery states.
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Merkel said she wanted to include the ad-hoc programme in pending talks to form a new government, dpa reports. The government's handling of the dieselgate scandal is given bad grades by the German public.
Nearly as many say the carmakers performance in the wake of the scandal was equally poor. Environmental organisation DUH says it will expand its legal action over air pollution from diesel cars to several more German cities. It called on 42 other cities to prepare for bans on diesel cars that could take effect after a Stuttgart court ruled that such bans, demanded by the DUH , were legally warranted if diesel cars are not retrofitted to reduce NOx emissions by The European Union announces new carbon emissions reduction targets that are perceived as favourable for the car industry.
A concession made by the Greens to relinquish their demand to ban new registrations of combustion engines by is ridiculed by conservative transport minister Alexander Dobrindt as "giving up a silly end date" that had "never been up for debate". Diesel car registrations in Germany continue to fall , standing The Green-led government of Germany's southern state Baden-Wuerttemberg, home to carmakers Daimler and Porsche, lodges an appeal against the court ruling that found inner-city driving bans for polluting cars permissible. The plaintiff, the Environmental Action Germany DUH , welcomed the appeal saying it would accelerate the process of reaching a final decision.
But while carmakers talk a lot about their future plans for e-mobility at the IAA, large diesel SUVs dominate new models that are soon available in showrooms. Meanwhile, diesel car sales in Germany continue their decline — their share of new registrations fell by almost 14 percent year-on-year in August, according to the Federal Motor Transport Authority KBA.
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Merkel voices support for the idea of banning internal combustion engine cars sometime in the future, as planned by other European countries, such as France and the UK. German carmakers make a proposal on how to retrofit older diesel cars with a software update that reduces exhaust emissions from Euro 5 vehicles by an average 25 percent. Media reports say Daimler has manipulated more than one million cars sold in Europe and the US.
EU Industry Commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska warns carmakers that they must withdraw millions of manipulated diesel vehicles from circulation across the EU if they are not fully retrofitted by the end of the year. Transport minister Alexander Dobrindt announces a recall of 22, Porsche Cayenne and orders a registration moratorium for new vehicles after tests by the ministry BMVi and the Federal Motor Transport Authority KBA found potentially illegal emissions software.
Prosecutors say the luxury brand manipulated the emission values of its successful Cayenne model. Porsche denies the allegations. Prosecutors search several offices of carmaker Daimler over allegations that the Stuttgart-based company used manipulation devices similar to those used by VW.
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