2017 BMW 3-SeriesEnlarge Photo
This might not seem to be the most convenient moment to restart production of a gaggle of diesel cars.
The Volkswagen diesel scandal continues to unfold, and last week the EPA accused Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) of failing to reveal eight separate software routines that altered the behavior of diesel engines in Jeep and Ram vehicles.
Nonetheless, BMW is set to start production of its 2017 diesel models.
"Diesel models will be going into production shortly at our manufacturing plants," Rebecca K. Kiehne—product & technology spokesperson at BMW of North America—told Green Car Reports.
Production "had been deferred until testing had been completed," Kiehne said.
Reuters reported as far back as August that the 2017 BMW diesel models had received EPA certification, although production is only now starting.
2017 BMW X3Enlarge Photo
At the time, the news service said that certification was delayed due to more extensive testing by the EPA, and the agency's request for more data from BMW before final approval was given.
The models in question include the 328d sedan and Sports Wagon, as well as the X3 xDrive28d and X5 xDrive35d SUVs.
All three have been available in the U.S. in prior years, but had to go through the process of recertification for the new model year.
ALSO SEE: Diesel: Mercedes asks if it's worth the effort, Audi sticks with it for U.S. (Nov 2016)
Diesels have accounted for as much as 4 percent of BMW's U.S. sales in previous model years, although with cheaper gasoline, current demand remains somewhat unknown.
That's compared to about 25 percent for Volkswagen before the scandal. VW has said it will no longer pursue the U.S. passenger-car diesel market in any volume.
That likely takes one of BMW's main German luxury rivals—Audi—out of the equation as well.
2017 BMW X5Enlarge Photo
Mercedes-Benz is also mulling over whether to withdraw its diesel vehicles from the U.S. market.
Over the past few months, it scrapped plans to offer a diesel version of the C-Class sedan in the U.S., and has indicated that a complete withdrawal of diesels is a possibility.
But BMW is not the only automaker standing firm with diesels.
Jaguar Land Rover recently launched diesel versions of its Range Rover and Range Rover Sport SUVs, plus both the Jaguar XE and XF sedans.
General Motors already sells diesel in its Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon mid-size pickup trucks.
It plans to introduce diesel-engine options for the Chevrolet Cruze compact, in both sedan and hatchback versions, and then the latest generation of the Chevy Equinox and GMC Terrain crossover utility vehicles.
Mazda and Ford have also announced diesel options for their CX-5 crossover and F-150 pickup truck, respectively, to launch next year.