TO THE EDITOR:
“The death of the diesel auto” (Keith Crain, March 12) is another example of a series of opinions predicting the diesel’s demise. It is noteworthy, however, that at the Geneva auto show, VW CEO Matthias Mueller predicted the diesel’s “renaissance” and Mercedes exhibited a preproduction plug-in hybrid version of its OM 654 diesel engine, part of a more than $3 billion investment in a new engine family. In South Korea, Mercedes and BMW vehicles are selling in record numbers, driven by diesel models, while in the U.S., the Chevy Cruze diesel has been shown to outperform gasoline and hybrid-powered vehicles on fuel economy in real-world driving. In the half-ton pickup category, Chevy, Ford and Dodge are battling for bragging rights for the most fuel-efficient diesel vehicle.
Unfortunately, in Europe, the diesel blame game continues at a near-hysterical pace, where thousands of yearly fatalities are blamed on diesel exhaust without any substantiation by peer-reviewed studies. An attempt to investigate this possibility by subjecting monkeys to diesel exhaust is compared to World War II atrocities as if thousands of lab animals are not utilized yearly in order to increase our knowledge of human disease.
Hopefully, diesels will continue to be utilized because of their fuel efficiency, durability, decreased carbon dioxide global warming emissions and near overall equality with gasoline engine emissions in their latest versions.
SEYMOUR R. ROSEN, Tallahassee, Fla. The writer is a retired ophthalmologist.