2017 BMW X3
The Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal has caused regulators to take a closer look at all new diesel models submitted for certification.
Backups caused by more extensive testing led us to wonder whether any diesels would be approved for sale in U.S. for the 2017 model year.
Now, at least one automaker will in fact get to offer its diesels to buyers.
After a delay, the EPA has approved sales of 2017 BMW diesel models, according to Reuters.
Production of these models—including the 328d sedan and wagon and X3 xDrive28d and X5 xDrive35D SUVs—had been held up pending EPA certification.
The agency conducted more extensive testing, and asked BMW for more data on the models before giving its approval.
2017 BMW X3
In previous model years, diesels accounted for about 4 percent of BMW's U.S. sales.
That's compared to about 25 percent for pre-scandal Volkswagen, which has announced it will no longer pursue the U.S. passenger-car diesel market in any volume.
The company hasn't asked the EPA for permission to sell 2017 diesel models here, Reuters reports, and its 2016 diesels were never certified by the agency.
Last month, VW Group of America CEO Hinrich Woebcken said the carmaker will no longer make diesels a core part of its identity, although it may eventually return to selling them in small numbers.
Mercedes-Benz still faces delays in getting its 2017 diesels certified.
In April, Mercedes parent Daimler was asked by the U.S. Justice Department to investigate its own emissions-testing procedures.
2017 BMW 3-Series
That same month, Mercedes owners filed a lawsuit claiming a 3.0-liter V-6 diesel engine produced significantly higher levels of emissions than the carmaker said.
Last month, Daimler said it was also subject to investigations by the EPA and California Air Resources Board (CARB).
General Motors faced an initial delay when it tried to certify diesel versions of the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon mid-size trucks for sale as 2016 models.
The start of deliveries was pushed back about two months, but the trucks have become strong sellers.
GM also plans to introduce a new diesel version of the Chevrolet Cruze compact next year.