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Germany makes it easier for manufacturers to offer diesel emissions fixes

The German government is relaxing its approvals process for exhaust systems meant to clean up old diesels, but carmakers aren't sold on the idea.

As diesel bans loom, the German government is trying to make it easier for older vehicles to meet newer emissions standards.

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Typically, getting vehicle modifications approved for use on public roads in Germany is a long, drawn-out and expensive process but according to a report published Friday by Reuters, the German government could be easing that process to help get diesel vehicle emissions retrofit parts out as soon as possible.

While Germany speeding the release of these parts sounds like a good thing, issues remain. For example, Volkswagen is willing to spend up to $3,431 per vehicle to upgrade its engine management system to help clean its emissions but it's not clear that this would bring the cars into compliance.

Daimler and the Volkswagen group have agreed to cover some of the costs for consumers to retrofit their older diesel vehicles, but that will still require owners to spend what is likely to be a hefty chunk of change.

BMW isn't even pitching in for the cost of updating its out-of-spec vehicles. Instead, it's offering incentives toward the purchase of a new vehicle for those who trade in their older diesel because the company says the cost of retrofitting would be too high and take too long to develop.

As more of the world's major cities seek to ban diesel-powered vehicles from their centers, others look to ban the sale of internal combustion-powered vehicles entirely; automakers may be on a bit of a ticking clock even as car buyers help pay the price.