Nissan offers €500 return guarantee in the event of diesel driving bans

30 November 2017

30 November 2017

In Germany, Nissan is offering buyers of the diesel versions of its X-Trail and Qashqai SUVs a ′city centre guarantee.’ Anyone who buys the guarantee for a one-off €500 fee can return their car to the dealer for up to four years if a driving ban which affects their car is introduced within a radius of 100 kilometres of their primary residence. Customers can then get out of the financing contract and receive the residual value of the vehicle as per the valuations of Schwacke, the German arm of the Autovista Group. In addition, purchasing of the Nissan Leaf electric car will be made easier for customers who are affected.

However, there are some conditions for the guarantee. For example, the car has to be financed by Nissan Bank and the guarantee only applies for the duration of the financing period. In addition, the driving ban must be in force for at least 30 days a year and cannot be avoided through retrofitting of new Nissan technology.

′As the world’s largest automaker, we see it as our duty to take the fear away from our customers,’ says the CEO of Nissan Center Europe, Thomas Hausch. Nissan is also making a point with this initiative. ′As e-mobility is not developing fast enough for us, we cannot do without a proven powertrain system like diesel. Hence there is now the inner city guarantee.’

The offer is rather shrewd. On the one hand, it ensures Nissan attention and, on the other hand, the risk that the manufacturer is taking on is manageable. After all, the customer does not get back the original price he paid for the car, but only the residual value. Considering that the guarantee is valid for a maximum of four years and is valid for new cars only, there is a good chance that Nissan will cash in, especially as no diesel driving bans have actually been confirmed yet.

This Nissan initiative comes as the President of the Government of North Rhine-Westphalia is considering a diesel ban in the city of DÜsseldorf as a result of an investigation by the DÜsseldorf district government. According to the district government, the annual average value of 40 micrograms nitrogen dioxide permitted under EU law is currently not being complied with at 60 out of 127 measuring points. Even with a diesel ban, the authority reported that it will be difficult to comply with the emissions limits in DÜsseldorf and further measures will be required.

If the federal government agrees on a blue environmental sticker at short notice, clean Euro 6 diesel engines could be spared the ban. However, if this does not happen, there is no alternative to a general diesel driving ban in the most polluted areas.

Germany held a second ′diesel summit’ on Tuesday, 28 November, to find solutions to the problem of air pollution as the country tries to move on from various scandals and demonisation of the fuel. Several city officials have already complained that nothing has happened since the first diesel summit in summer. A guiding judgment of the Federal Administrative Court on driving bans is expected in February 2018.

Photograph courtesy of Nissan