German carmakers may offer diesel upgrade vouchers in compromise: FAZ

BERLIN (Reuters) – German carmakers may offer owners of vehicles affected by driving bans vouchers for hardware upgrades by suppliers such as Baumot (TINCk.DE) or HJS, German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) reported on Friday, without citing sources.

FILE PHOTO: A market ready particulate filter retrofit system for passenger cars to avoid diesel emission is pictured in a garage of German exhaust aftertreatment technology group Baumot in Witten, Germany, March 7, 2018. Picture taken March 7, 2018. REUTERS/Thilo Schmuelgen/File Photo

That would be a compromise between some German politicians who want BMW (BMWG.DE), Daimler (DAIGn.DE) and Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) to pay for the cost of making older diesel vehicles cleaner and the carmakers who say hardware retrofits would be much too expensive.

The report by FAZ comes ahead of a diesel summit at the German chancellery on Friday, in which the government will try to agree by an end-September deadline a way to tackle pollution from diesel vehicles without resorting to further driving bans.

Any solution is likely to cost several billion euros, and Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer said this week his plan would not require taxpayer funds or money from the car owners, putting the onus on carmakers instead.

A coalition committee is to meet on Monday to sign off on any decisions.

FAZ said the voucher scheme would apply to some diesel vehicles meeting the Euro 5 emissions standard and would cover 80 percent of the cost of upgrades, up to a maximum level of 3,000 euros ($3,500) per vehicle, FAZ said.

Older vehicles meeting the Euro 4 standard would not be covered, but their owners would be offered incentives to swap their vehicles for new ones.

A person familiar with the matter told Reuters on Thursday that Volkswagen was prepared to support hardware retrofits, reversing its position and bowing to pressure that has mounted in the three years since it admitted to cheating diesel emissions tests.

Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Mark Potter

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