Last year, Germany exported over $20 billion worth of cars to the US. Punitive tariffs would hit German carmakers hard.
For the first time, one of Germany's famed motorways has been affected by a diesel ban. German cities have instituted or are bracing for bans on older diesel cars after violating European clean air laws for years.
The two cities in western Germany are the latest to be ordered by a court to impose diesel vehicle bans. The German government is under pressure to get old, polluting vehicles off the roads.
Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer has announced that German car manufacturers have agreed to retrofit older diesel vehicles at their own cost. BMW, however, has refused to go along with the plan.
Angela Merkel has pledged to introduce legislation to stop "disproportionate" bans on diesel cars. The chancellor was speaking ahead of the state election in Hesse, where her CDU is desperate for a good showing.
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