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German Courts Decide to Take a Week To Mull Over Diesel Bans

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Automakers in Europe have been holding their collective breath lately as their diesel vehicle sales stood in the balance of a German court decision – a court decision, no less, on whether or not cities would be allowed to ban entry to diesel-powered vehicles to protect against the harmful air pollution they generate.

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The case, which has been appealed from lower courts by two German states, was heard at the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig today, and apparently had been expected to return a verdict pretty promptly, as quick as a few hours. However, instead, the court has deferred its decision for a week, as judges report that the process is taking longer than expected.

The side arguing against the bans is populated by the automakers, whose diesel vehicles are practically piling up on dealership lots, and other officials that argue that such a ban would negatively hit bus companies, garbage collection, and those people who rely on heavy diesel vehicles for daily work.

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On the side of the diesel bans are the cities which are pursuing the bans and groups like Environmental Action Germany, the latter of which accused the government of putting the interest of automakers ahead of its own people’s health.

In addition, the European Union itself is pushing Germany, among other countries, to reduce their air pollution, an issue which has become far better-enforced since VW’s diesel scandal revealed just how ineffectual the EU’s gentle testing has been at actually measuring a vehicle’s levels of emissions.

If the case is rejected, meaning that the judges confirm the lower courts’ rulings, German cities would have a few months to enact diesel-banning measures, and may end up spurring cities in other countries to follow the German lead.

News Source: USA Today