| NEW YORK, April 12
NEW YORK, April 12 Daimler AG's
Mercedes-Benz USA chief said the German automaker has not
decided whether to resume selling diesel vehicles in the United
The German automaker has not received approval from the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency to sell 2017 model diesel
The EPA said in September 2015 that it would review all U.S.
diesel vehicles following an admission from Volkswagen AG
that it had installed software in cars allowing them
to emit up to 40 times legally permissible level of pollution.
In April 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice asked Daimler
to investigate the emissions certification process for its
Dietmar Exler, president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA, told
reporters at the New York auto show said the company's engineers
are in talks with EPA over the diesel vehicles. He said he was
not aware of the status of those talks.
Before the EPA declined to approve 2017 model diesel sales,
Mercedes-Benz diesels accounted for just 2-3 percent of U.S.
sales, Exler said. "No decision made one way or the other," on
the future of diesel sales, he added.
Exler said the automaker plans a big boost in electric
vehicles, adding 10 new EVs by 2025 worldwide, including 7 or 8
coming to the United States. "That's going to be the big focus
going forward," he said.
He declined to comment on the status of the EPA review,
saying if a "regulatory investigation is ongoing and you are not
involved, it does not make sense to comment."
In March, German prosecutors said they had opened an
investigation into whether Daimler employees may have committed
fraud in a probe tied to diesel vehicle emissions.
Jaguar Land Rover, which is owned by Tata Motors,
said on Wednesday it was adding a seventh diesel model for sale
in the United States. The company estimates about 10-15 percent
of its U.S. sales will be diesels this year.
Fiat Chrysler is also still trying to win U.S.
approval to sell 2017 diesel models as the U.S. government
decides whether to take legal action.
The EPA accused the Italian-American automaker of illegally
using undeclared software to allow excess diesel emissions from
104,000 U.S. trucks and SUVs. The EPA has refused to grant Fiat
Chrysler approval to sell 2017 diesel models.
VW Group of America chief Hinrich Woebcken reiterated on
Wednesday the company has no plans to resume sales on new U.S.
In March, VW won approval from the EPA to sell up to 67,000
diesel vehicles from the 2015 model year, including about 12,000
in dealer inventory with approved emissions fixes. Woebcken said
dealers have not yet resumed sales.
(Reporting by David Shepardson)