Volkswagen Diesel Emissions Fix To Be Tested By California Regulators

In an effort to avoid buying back as many vehicles as possible, Volkswagen is ready to begin testing a proposed fix for diesel vehicles equipped with software designed to cheat on emissions-tests. 

According to report by Reuters, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) chair Mary Nichols said they are working with Volkswagen to see if the potential fixes will clean emissions from the recalled vehicles to meet California standards. If successful, Volkswagen could offer consumers who bought the vehicles an option to fix them, giving them an alternative to selling the vehicles back to the company.

Late last month, the Department of Justice announced a Volkswagen TDI diesel settlement, which is expected to cost the company about $15 billion. The deal will require the company to spend $10 billion buying the vehicles back from owners, and another $4.7 billion on mitigating pollution and investing in zero-emission technology. The Justice Department pointed out that the settlement does not affect Volkswagen owner lawsuits filed in courts throughout the U.S., and does not resolve potential criminal liability the company faces.

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Volkswagen Diesel Lawsuits

Owners of certain Audi and VW TDI Diesel vehicles may be entitled to financial compensation.


The deal is an attempt to resolve the controversy surrounding the Volkswagen TDI “clean diesel” scandal. In September 2015, the manufacturer admitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that the vehicles were equipped with software designed to artificially lower emissions during testing, while increasing the level of pollutants released during normal operations.

Although the Volkswagen TDI “Clean Diesel” vehicles were sold for a premium price, as “environmentally friendly” cars, some researchers from the EPA have recorded emissions levels up to 40 times the allowable rate during normal operation. However, when connected to EPA testing devices showed approved levels.

The Volkswagen recall affected nearly 500,000 diesel vehicles sold in the United States. The problems expanded after the investigation began to also include some 80,000 Audi and Porsche SUV models with bigger 3.0 liter diesel engines. The illegal devices are believed to have been installed in nearly 11 million vehicles across the globe, sparking major concerns about the company’s ethics and business practices.

Consumers are expected to be offered a choice between selling the vehicles back or having them fixed to meet clean air standards. However, Volkswagen must first prove to CARB and the EPA that the fix actually works.

Volkswagen officials say they believe a combination of both hardware and software fixes will bring the vehicles into compliance. If approved, the company would offer the fix to customers with recalled diesel vehicles free of charge.


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