EPA and California Air Resources Board Approve Remedy to Reduce Excess NOx Emissions from Automatic Transmission “Generation 2” 2.0-Liter Diesel Vehicles
On May 19, 2017, EPA and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) approved Volkswagen’s (VW) proposal for an emissions modification that will reduce NOx emissions from model year 2012-2014 automatic transmission diesel Passat vehicles. With the approval, VW will offer owners of these vehicles the choice to keep and fix their car, or to have it bought back. To obtain this approval, VW submitted test data and technical information to demonstrate that the modification will reduce emissions without negatively affecting vehicle reliability or durability. VW also identified and must provide consumer information about any differences in vehicle attributes (such as fuel economy) so owners may make an informed choice.
The approval means that VW can notify customers that the emissions modification is available and begin performing the modification at its dealerships. The approved modification involves a software change. VW will remove the defeat device software that reduced emission control effectiveness in all but emissions testing circumstances, and replace it with software that directs the emission controls to function effectively in all typical vehicle operations. Manual transmission diesel Passat vehicles are not covered by this approval.