Diesels could still return to the lineup later.

Mercedes-Benz’s mainstream range will not have any diesels in its lineup for the United States for the 2017 model year because of the complicated certification process for them. The only diesel-fueled model with the three-pointed star on the nose will be the Sprinter van.

“Combined with the increased effort to certify diesel engines in the U.S., we have put the certification process for diesel passenger cars on hold,” Mercedes spokesperson Rob Moran told Automotive News.

The engines might return to the lineup in the future, though. The company is "leaving the door open to offer diesels as a potential option in our passenger cars and SUVs,” Moran told Automotive News.

Even when they were available, diesels made up a small percentage of Mercedes’ total sales in the United States. The automaker’s execs have been signaling possibly dropping them from the lineup, too. For example, Matthias Luehrs, vice president of sales and product management for Mercedes-Benz Cars said during the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show: “We have to look at that and see whether it makes sense to offer diesels in the future.”

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Abandoning diesel engines in the U.S. might also be a canny strategic move for Mercedes because the automaker is under investigation by the Environmental Protection Agency over emissions from the powerplants. The government could even request the company recall the mills if regulators find they pollute too much.

Mercedes already has a green alternative to diesels in its U.S. lineup. For example, buyers can already get plug-in hybrid versions of the C-, S-, and GLE-Class. The company plans to add as many as eight EVs to its range through 2025, too.

The automaker’s rivals at BMW have been trying to make a similar decision about the future of diesel-fueled models in the U.S. The EPA gave the company authorization to sell diesels for the 2017 model year, but the Bavarian firm didn’t put them on the market. According to a recent report, the company will reintroduce the mills into its lineup with the 2018 540d, and the next-gen 3 Series and X3 in the U.S. will get them, too.

Source: Automotive News

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