2016 BMW 328dEnlarge Photo
With the revelation that it cheated on emissions tests using "defeat device" software, Volkswagen has gone from one of the biggest proponents of diesel cars in the U.S. to not currently being able to sell a single one.
The company issued a stop-sale order for all new and certified pre-owned diesels in the U.S., and is still working with regulators to get a plan approved to make the affected cars compliant with emissions standards.
VW diesels, then, are dead in the water. But what of the other carmakers still selling diesels in the U.S.?
The outlook isn't good, BMW diesel-engine development chief Wolfgang Stütz told WardsAuto in an interview at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show.
He said the Volkswagen emissions scandal will affect the entire industry, because the public and regulators no longer trust diesel.
This may lead regulators to enact even tougher emissions standards, he noted.
2016 BMW X3Enlarge Photo
However, Stütz wouldn't go so far as to say that the VW scandal will completely kill off diesel in the U.S.
Beyond the scandal, Stütz also commented that low oil prices may also be lessening interest in diesels.
BMW currently offers diesel versions of the 3 Series sedan and wagon, and the X3 and X5 SUVs.
The 3 Series and X3 models use a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, while the X5 uses a 3.0-liter inline six.
The X5 is currently BMW's bestselling diesel, with 30 percent of customers opting for the compression-ignition model over gasoline options.
2015 BMW X5Enlarge Photo
Meanwhile, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) CEO Sergio Marchionne doesn't seem quite as worried about the future of diesel in the U.S.
He said FCA is "cautiously optimistic" about diesel in a separate interview with WardsAuto in Detroit.
Unlike BMW's Stütz, Marchionne believes the public won't project Volkswagen's sins onto carmakers that comply with the law.
"I don't think that what Volkswagen did was a reflection of diesel as much as it was a reflection of poor governance of the process," Marchionne said.
In the U.S., FCA currently offers its 3.0-liter "EcoDiesel" V-6 in the Ram 1500 full-size pickup truck and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV.
2015 BMW 328dEnlarge Photo
While opinions differ regarding the scandal's potential effect on other carmakers, VW itself is still in hot water.
The company appears no closer to a satisfactory fix for its U.S. diesel cars, and faces numerous lawsuits around the world.
The latest bit of bad news comes from Germany, where the government is criticizing VW for unequally compensating U.S. and European customers, according to Reuters.
Last week, European Industry Commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska sent a letter to Volkswagen demanding customers in both regions be compensated the same way.