BERLIN -- German Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer said that his plan to battle air pollution in cities by retrofitting older diesel vehicles would not require car owners or taxpayers to contribute.
"My concept is currently based on needing no taxpayer money and that the car owners will not have to pay for it. That means that German automakers would have to build a framework that helps to rebuild trust," Scheuer told broadcaster ZDF.
The German government is due to hold another summit on Friday to try to agree a way to tackle pollution from diesel vehicles without resorting to bans, and Scheuer has said his top priority was to ensure owners can swap older cars for less-polluting ones.
The subject has proven controversial as pollution levels have exceeded European Union limits in a number of German cities. Frankfurt will ban some diesel and gasoline models from February following a case brought by an environmental group. In February, Germany's top administrative court opened the door to inner-city bans.
The German government is worried about the cost of replacing or upgrading vehicles and the impact on the country's powerful car industry, its biggest source of export income.
Scheuer on Wednesday called the current debate about technical retrofits on older diesel vehicles "dangerous," including for automakers.
He also said the government plan would not extend to older diesel vehicles made by foreign manufacturers, which do not fall under German jurisdiction.