The post-scandal decline in diesel sales may be just the beginning.
Further crackdowns on vehicle emissions are likely in Germany in wake of Dieselgate and other manufacturers' pollution-related scandals. The country's transport and environmental agencies have announced this week that they plan to assign task forces to work with automakers to investigate further means of reducing diesel emissions.
According to Reuters, the plan comes in two parts. The first is an initiative by Germany's transport ministry to encourage industry-wide adoption of new engine control software that would reduce real-world diesel pollution. Sources told the wire service Monday that implementing the updates could cost as much as $2.8 billion (2.5 billion euros).
The second is the creation of a "national diesel forum" (not to be confused with the Diesel Technology Forum--an existing, U.S.-based lobbying organization) intended to find new ways to reduce emissions, both by way of technological innovation and regional initiatives to reduce the operation of diesel-powered vehicles.
Other measures, such as increased transparency in emissions testing, are also on the table. Several urban areas across the country have already considered banning diesel cars altogether, and politicians appearing overly friendly to the auto industry are starting to feel the heat.
It will likely take some time for the final measures to be defined, as even something as straightforward as closing loopholes in existing emissions control software would require extensive cooperation and validation on the part of automakers and government officials.