US Diesel Technology Advocates Say Don’t Throw Diesel Out With Volkswagen Bathwater

Before a public angry over the Volkswagen scandal decides to burn Rudolph Diesel in effigy, a diesel advocacy group has issued a defense of emission-compliant diesel transport.

Without actually naming Volkswagen, the non-profit Diesel Technology Forum located in Maryland said in essence one scandal does not an industry characterize.

Volkswagen’s name was omitted because the advocacy group says its policy is to not comment on specific cases or circumstances involving individual companies and enforcement actions by the government, but the reference is clearly in reponse to Volkswagen.

This week advocacy groups like Greenpeace and other environmentalists, as well as op-ed writers galore are having a field day in the wake of VW’s woes.

Predictions include that an unforgiving public may see Volkswagen’s actions bring down the entire U.S. diesel passenger car industry. Various articles and talking heads have raised the specter that Volkswagen’s setback will be a setback for all or many and it will at least be very hard for diesel car manufacturers.

In the U.S. this is statistically a greater threat. Unlike in Europe where diesel has comprised as many as half of new car sales, diesel passenger vehicles in the U.S. only hold around 1-percent of the market, a decided minority technology.

What’s more, Volkswagen all-but owned that market. Volkswagen’s TDIs had built up a foothold in the mainstream-priced segment, but that company’s four-cylinder TDIs were pulled from the market on Monday this week until regulators enforce a fix to their emission-control systems.

The points the Diesel Technology Forum make in its statement are fact-based. It has a history of speaking objectively and not going out on a limb with statements that cannot be substantiated.

Its message in short: don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. And, don’t take anger or distrust out on other innocent parties if concerned over Volkswagen. Keep an open mind, it essentially says.

Following is its press release issued this afternoon in full:

Statement of the Diesel Technology Forum
September 23, 2015 // Diesel Technology Forum

Washington, D.C. – The Diesel Technology Forum issued the following statement regarding clean diesel vehicles in the U.S.

The Diesel Technology Forum does not comment on specific cases or circumstances involving individual companies and enforcement actions by the government. However, to the extent that these circumstances have raised questions about diesel technology in general, we offer the following:


The circumstances involving a single manufacturer do not define an entire technology, or an industry. Vehicle manufacturers and engine makers have invested billions of dollars in research and development to successfully meet the most aggressive emissions standards in the world. They continue to work closely and cooperatively with the Environmental Protection Agency, California Air Resources Board, international regulatory bodies, as well as environmental and other interest groups toward common goals.

Nothing has changed the fact that the diesel engine is the most energy efficient internal combustion engine. It is a proven technology and its unique combination of efficiency, power, reliability, performance, low-emissions and suitability for using renewable fuels ensures a place for diesel technology to help meet the demands of a global economy.

We are also confident that consumers will continue to find the new generation of clean diesel cars, trucks and SUVs as a competitive choice to meet their personal transportation needs.

Finally, it is important to focus forward on the significant accomplishments of an entire industry that developed and refined clean diesel technology to what it is today – a key strategy in achieving current and future energy and climate goals.

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The Diesel Technology Forum is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of diesel engines, fuel and technology. Forum members are leaders in clean diesel technology and represent the three key elements of the modern clean-diesel system: advanced engines, vehicles and equipment, cleaner diesel fuel and emissions-control systems. For more information visit