Germany's highest administrative court in Leipzig will on Thursday decide the fate of 15 million diesel vehicles in the country when it rules on whether cities in Europe's largest auto market can ban heavily polluting cars.
But judges said the process had taken longer than expected and set a date of February 27 for a ruling.
One of the court's judges, Andreas Korbmacher, said the delay comes as the decision to be made must be carefully analyzed.
On Thursday, the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig will assess earlier verdicts from courts in Stuttgart and Duesseldorf which favored removing older diesel vehicles on the ground of the risk their nitrogen oxide emissions pose to citizens' health. By 2025 diesel passenger cars are expected to make up only 15-32% of new sales, with states expected to follow the lead of Britain and France banning new diesel cars completely by 2040.
'Wedding gift' explodes in India, killing groom and his grandmother
Patnagarh Sub-Divisional Police Officer Sesadeva Bariha had said, "The police have collected evidence and an investigation is on". A bridegroom and his grandmother were killed in Odisha after a gift they had received on their wedding reception exploded.
While the ECJ has yet to speak out on the issue, European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas said on Thursday that the European Union didn't necessarily see the issue as within its jurisdiction: 'We don't view this as a case when we have community competence or we have something meaningful to offer'.
Germany is only the most recent major player to talk about banning diesel vehicles in its city centers.
A German court is considering whether cities should ban diesel cars to lower air pollution, a move that could have drastic consequences for the country's auto industry. The DUH is also pursuing bans in many other German cities.
These rulings would also put the German government into a tight spot, as Chancellor Angela Merkel has already been criticized for her close ties to the automotive industry and her strong support of diesel as a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality. The government has been against city centre bans on diesels, fearing a backlash from drivers and a strain on public transport networks.