A German court has delayed a ruling on whether major cities can ban heavily polluting diesel cars, which could hit the resale value of up to 15 million vehicles in Europe’s largest car market and force automakers to pay for costly modifications, Reuters reported.
Judge Andreas Korbmacher said on Thursday the country’s highest federal administrative court would rule on Feb. 27 on an appeal brought by German states against bans imposed by local courts in Stuttgart and Duesseldorf over poor air quality.
“We still see a considerable need for guidance,” he said before breaking off the Leipzig court hearing, responding to a question on whether the European Court of Justice (ECJ) may have to be consulted on the matter.
The ECJ was not immediately available for comment.
European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas said on Thursday the Commission was not in charge of traffic regulations in cities. “We don’t view this as a case when we have community competence or we have something meaningful to offer.”
There has been a global backlash against diesel-engine cars since Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) admitted in 2015 to cheating U.S. exhaust tests, meant to limit emissions of particulate matter and nitrogen oxide (NOx), known to cause respiratory disease.