January 6, 2017 - EPA and California Air Resources Board Approve Remedy to Reduce Excess NOx Emissions from Generation 3 2.0-Liter Diesel Vehicles
On October 25, 2016, the Court entered a $14.7 billion partial settlement with Volkswagen to resolve alleged Clean Air Act violations from the sale of 2.0 liter diesel vehicles that were equipped with software designed to cheat on federal emissions tests. The settlement allows VW to propose and seek EPA and CARB approval for technical remedies to address the pollution violations.
On January 6, 2017, EPA and CARB approved a remedy proposed by Volkswagen that will reduce the excess NOx emissions from the Generation 3 diesel 2.0 liter vehicles. With this approval, VW can offer vehicle owners the choice to keep and fix their car, or to have it bought back. The test data and technical information VW submitted to EPA and CARB demonstrated that the emissions modification will not affect vehicle fuel economy, reliability, or durability. EPA and CARB confirmed those conclusions through independent testing and analysis at their own laboratories.
The Generation 3 vehicle models covered by the approved emissions remedy are the model year 2015 diesel Volkswagen Beetle, Beetle Convertible, Golf, Golf SportWagen, Jetta, and Passat, and the model year 2015 diesel Audi A3.
This approval means that VW can now notify customers that the emissions modification is available and begin performing the modification at its dealerships. The approved modification requires both software and hardware replacement, and will take place in two phases. The first phase involves a software change that is available to customers now. The second phase involves further software changes as well as hardware changes that are not yet available. In the first phase, VW will remove the defeat device software and replace it with software that directs the emission controls to function effectively in all typical vehicle operation. The second phase will start about a year from now when VW will install more software updates as well as a new diesel particulate filter, diesel oxidation catalyst, and NOx catalyst, all needed to maintain vehicle reliability and emissions performance over time.
Read the letter from EPA and CARB approving this remedy (PDF) (5 pp, 858 K, January 6, 2017, About PDF).