Jeep's diesel-powered Liberty passed the sales test - about 11,000 sales since March 2005, doubling the Chrysler group's expectations. But it couldn't pass new EPA emissions tests coming in January. So Liberty diesel production ended in May.
Starting Jan. 1, light-duty diesel vehicles under 6,000 pounds must meet Tier 2, Bin 5 emission rules that require diesel engines to be as clean as gasoline engines.
The Liberty's 2.8-liter diesel was based on an old design from Italy's VM Motori. And Chrysler decided it would cost too much to make it meet the new regulations. The company isn't tipping its hand, but a new diesel could show up in the Liberty when it gets a face-lift in 2008.
The Liberty isn't the only diesel vehicle in the class of '06 to get bumped off by the new rules. Volkswagen is retooling its diesels, so the option won't be offered on 2007 Golf, New Beetle and Passat models. And Jetta and Touareg diesels will be limited in 2007. New VW diesels will arrive in 2008.