In his interview with the Bild newspaper, German Transport and Digital Infrastructure Minister Andreas Scheuer stated he would do everything in his power to prevent bans on diesel cars, however, noting that it would be "dishonest" to exclude such possibility.
Scheuer, who assumed office on Wednesday, also said that he would hold "new, very, very serious talks with automobile companies," adding that he did not consider himself "a buddy to the auto bosses" but as a representative of diesel car owners’ interests.
On February 28, the German Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig ruled to allow local authorities to impose bans on diesel cars in an effort to curb air pollution, upholding the decisions of the courts of the first instance in the German cities of Stuttgart and Duesseldorf. Prior to this, these cities had authorized bans on heavily polluting diesel cars.
READ MORE: Enemy Within: Diesel Engines Kill Thousands of Germans Annually — Study
In August, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has announced her government's plans to allocate one billion euros ($1.2 billion) to municipalities in order to implement measures aimed at combating air pollution. She has repeatedly stated that the driving bans for diesel cars should be avoided.
German car manufacturers agreed at the so-called diesel summit to update the software for 5 million diesel cars in an attempt to reduce harmful emissions.