Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg

Ban on Big Diesel Vehicles in New Delhi Extended by Indian Court

  • Diesel engines larger than 2 liters were banned in December
  • India is trying to tackle some of the world's most toxic air

India’s Supreme Court extended a ban on large diesel cars in New Delhi to tackle air pollution, dealing a blow to companies such as Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz, Toyota Motor Corp. and Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.

The next hearing of the case will be held April 9. The prohibition was due to end Thursday. The national capital is the biggest market for passenger cars in the country, with about 2.8 million private vehicles including SUVs and vans.

The ban on the registration of new diesel cars with engines larger than 2 liters was originally imposed in December as gray haze coked the metropolis. The federal government later brought forward the implementation of more stringent car-emission rules to 2020.

“A continued ban on bigger diesel vehicles will create uncertainty in the Indian automotive industry,” said Abdul Majeed, a partner at PwC India.

New Delhi’s parlous air quality rivals even Beijing. Levels of PM2.5 -- tiny, toxic particles that lead to respiratory diseases -- often soar above World Health Organization safe limits. Car fumes, smoke-stack power plants and fires lit to clear crops or for domestic use are often blamed.

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