Volkswagen May Exit US Diesel Market

In the wake of the emissions scandal and stricter emissions regulations, Volkswagen is uncertain if or when it will again sell diesel cars in the U.S.

The German automaker has been prohibited from selling diesel vehicles in the United States since late 2015 after it acknowledged using “defeat devices” to evade U.S. diesel emissions standards.

The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday quoted the head of VW’s North American operations, Hinrich Woebcken, as saying the company could decide to end all U.S. diesel sales.

Woebcken told the Journal the company would evaluate the U.S. diesel market on a “product by product and package by package” basis.

Emissions regulations in the U.S. are tightening in the U.S., making it more difficult for light-duty diesel engines to legally meet requirements, he said.

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Woebcken said sales of non-diesels have exceeded Volkswagen’s expectations, even though it has lost U.S. market share since the company’s diesels are no longer sold here.

Prior to the discovery of the cheating device, diesel sales accounted for nearly a quarter of VW’s U.S. sales.

Volkswagen has agreed to spend up to $15 billion to address claims from regulators and buy back 475,000 2.0-liter vehicles or fix them if allowed.

The company must still reach an agreement with officials to address 85,000 larger 3.0-liter cars and SUVs.

It also faces lawsuits from several U.S. states and an ongoing Justice Department criminal investigation.

Wall Street Journal