CARS.COM — The EPA has cleared BMW to begin sales of its 2017 diesel cars, but other hurdles remain. Last month, the German automaker confirmed the sales delay on its diesel cars, attributing the lag to slower EPA certification. The EPA now has cleared the way for BMW to sell its diesels, but the automaker says it still needs approval from other agencies before production can begin.
Reuters quoted Chris Grundler, who heads the EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality, to say that the agency had “tested the vehicles every which way from Sunday” and granted approval for BMW’s diesels on July 29.
BMW confirmed the EPA approval, but spokesman Hector Arellano-Belloc said the automaker is “still missing additional agencies’ approvals” before production of 2017 diesel models can begin. Asked to name the other agencies or give an expected timeframe for sales, Arellano-Belloc declined to elaborate.
BMW offers diesel versions of the 3 Series, 5 Series, X3 and X5. Spokeswoman Rebecca Kiehne told Cars.com last month there were no indications to suggest the automaker’s diesel cars don’t meet U.S. emissions standards.
Asked for comment on this week’s news, an EPA spokeswoman did not respond.
Slower diesel certification could be the new norm, given the additional oversight for all diesels that regulators pledged amid the Volkswagen Group’s ongoing diesel scandal. Indeed, Grundler reportedly told Reuters the EPA has yet to give Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler the green light for its 2017 model-year diesels.
If you want a new diesel BMW right now, you’ll have to settle for a 2016 or older model — and you’ll probably have to search hard to find it. As of this writing, just 2 percent of new BMWs on Cars.com are diesel models. All of them are 2016 models or leftover 2015s and 2014s.