The Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig, Germany created a lot of fear and uncertainty when it ruled cities could ban older diesel-powered vehicles from driving on their streets.
There’s been a lot of debate about how the bans will play out but the uncertainty has left many people afraid to buy a new vehicle with a diesel engine. This is understandable as nobody wants to buy or lease a new car only to learn they won’t be able to use it a few months later.
The resulting drama has made diesel-powered vehicles about as popular as tuberculosis but BMW is looking to calm those fears by introducing its “diesel return promise.” Starting on March 15th, anyone who leases a new BMW vehicle with a diesel engine will be able to “enter into a comparable termination agreement” if a driving restriction on diesel vehicles is applied within a 100 km (62 mile) radius of their primary residence or place of work.
BMW expects a “meaningful implementation” of the court’s ruling to go into effect and doesn’t believe modern diesel vehicles will be subject to any restrictions. However, the company acknowledges the court’s decision has created “great” uncertainty among motorists. As a result, the company hopes its diesel return promise will “strengthen the trust of its customers with the possibility of flexible vehicle switching.”
Besides announcing the diesel return promise, BMW will offer an “environmental bonus” to owners of older diesel-powered vehicles which will most likely be affected by driving restrictions. Owners of Euro 4 vehicles or older can receive up to €2,000 ($2,461) which can be used to purchase an i3, a plug-in hybrid or a new Euro 6 vehicle with emissions of 130 g/km or less.
Despite the program, BMW’s head of sales and marketing in Germany, Peter van Binsbergen, said “Our diesel vehicles are fit for the future.” He also added, “The diesel engine is one of the most efficient drive systems currently installed in vehicles, and also very clean thanks to the multi-stage exhaust gas purification process.”
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BMW Introduces Diesel Return Promise To Calm Fears Over Bans