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German Cities May Ban Polluting Diesel Cars - Court Ruling

© AP Photo / Jens MeyerEnvironment activists stand in front of the Federal Administrative Court prior to a trial in Leipzig, Germany
Environment activists stand in front of the Federal Administrative Court prior to a trial in Leipzig, Germany - Sputnik International
BERLIN (Sputnik) — The German Federal Administrative Court ordered to allow local authorities to ban diesel cars in cities in an effort to control air pollution. The decision influences millions of drivers in Germany and has significant consequences for the country's auto industry.

The court ruled to uphold the decisions of the courts of the first instance in the German cities of Stuttgart and Duesseldorf, the most polluted German cities, which had authorized the bans on heavily polluting diesel cars, according to a ruling issued on the German Federal Administrative court's website.

Chancellor Angela Merkel stated that she hoped that measures to reduce air pollution in German cities would have an effect soon.

Berlin's Chamber of Commerce announced that a ban on diesel cars in the city's downtown could cost firms in the German capital 240 million euros ($295 million) alone to replace their parks.

READ MORE: Bavarian Prosecution Searching Audi HQ Over 'Diesel Scandal' — Reports

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The diesel scandal, in which Germany's Volkswagen was involved, records back to 2015 when the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sued the company for using emission cheating software for its diesel cars. The company confirmed that 11 million of its vehicles worldwide had been implemented with such software and agreed to pay compensations totaling $15 billion.

German car manufacturers agreed in August at the so-called diesel summit to update the software for 5 million diesel cars in an attempt to reduce harmful emissions.

Angela Merkel announced plans of the German government in August to allocate one billion euros ($1.188 billion) to municipalities in order to implement measures aimed at combating air pollution. She repeatedly stated that the driving bans for diesel cars should be avoided.

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