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Car makers are worried tougher emission tests will kill diesel sales

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
October 18, 2015
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If you guessed that the ever-expanding Volkswagen diesel scandal would make other automakers nervous... you guessed well. In a statement, the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA) worries that regulators will demand overly strict emissions tests and standards. Extra-tough requirements would supposedly make some diesel-based vehicles (which are popular in Europe) "effectively unaffordable," leaving vendors with no choice but to axe those models. The industry is in favor of better tests, the ACEA insists -- it just wants more "realistic" goals.

The comments are more than a bit hyperbolic, and they're clearly meant to get the European Commission scaling back the costs involved with its proposals. The doom-and-gloom scenario portrayed in the statement probably won't happen, and it's a relatively short-lived concern when electric cars and hybrids are on the rise. With that said, the ACEA does have some reasons to worry in light of the VW revelations. France, for instance, may drop fuel subsidies that make diesel cheaper than gas. Car builders no doubt feel compelled to say something to protect their businesses, even if they don't have much real control over what happens next with emissions rules.

[Image credit: Akos Stiller/Bloomberg via Getty Images]

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