The Small Diesel Car Engine died on September 21 2015, in Washington DC. Blessed with fuel efficiency, low carbon dioxide emissions and high torque, he was taken before his time. He will be missed.
The cause of death was illicit emissions software in his engine. While the news was sudden, Diesel had fought a long, brave battle with addiction to nitrogen oxides.
The happiest times in Diesel’s life were spent in Europe, where he accounted for nearly half of cars sold in 2014, up from just a fifth in 1998. Regulators encouraged Diesel’s dreams with lower fuel taxes relative to petrol. Carmakers saw all his potential and invested tens of billions in technology to filter out his nitrogen oxide emissions. Volkswagen, in particular, made it possible for Diesel to explore the rambling highways of the US.
However, even with better technology and tighter standards, urban pollution increased, particularly nitrogen dioxide, worst of the nitrogen pollutants. The difference between Diesel’s laboratory and real-world test results increased dramatically between 2000 and 2014. The European Commission had opened proceedings against six countries for infringement of nitrogen dioxide regulations.
Unlike his beloved big brothers, the large premium diesels which have thrived in France and Germany, Diesel (known as “junior” to his family) could not cover the costs of the filter systems — up to €1,300 per engine — and lacked engine power to cope with the drag those systems imposed.
In the end, the prospect of real world emissions testing, which was to replace easily manipulable laboratory tests in early 2017, made Diesel’s earthly burden too great to carry.
Services will be closed. Large European carmakers ask for privacy during this difficult time.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, K Street, Washington DC.
Email the Lex team at firstname.lastname@example.org