In the wake of the Volkswagen diesel scandal the German government has started planning a potential multibillion euro plan to retrofit diesel cars that would help cut emissions and keep cars in city centers.
As reported by Der Spiegel, diesel car owners have essentially been left on their own to figure out how to deal with their cars being banned from cities after multiple German automakers cheated on their emissions test. The car owners themselves haven’t offered to help and, understandably, you can’t really get a great resale value for a car that can’t even drive into significant city centers.
So, the German government has decided that it’s probably high time to do something about this. They’ve called for the formation of a multibillion euro fund financed by both the government and the car companies to retrofit diesel cars that already have an existing diesel retrofit package. That means a lot of US-export models will be targeted first in the cities under threat of a driving ban: Munich, Stuttgart, and the Rhine-Main area.
This comes after a ruling by the German court where a man who had retrofitted his faulty diesel was entitled to a whole new car. While it set an interesting precedent, it’s also understandable that there would be pushback against handing out a bunch of new cars essentially for free.
There seems to be a lot of conflict within the government about the proposal, though. A Federal Ministry of Finance spokesperson had no idea what the diesel fund was, while Federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer affirmed that actions will be taken at an upcoming coalition meeting in Meseberg to try to figure out the best way to improve air quality.
The government has been trying to avoid bans on diesel vehicles if possible, but some people see that as the only option. The coalition meeting still has to hash over the details before they make any big decisions, but it’s starting to look like retrofitting diesel cars might be the most economically friendly option that doesn’t screw over everyone who bought a rigged car.