Volkswagen’s plan to address the Dieselgate scandal in the U.S. just hit a wall.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board informed the Volkswagen Group that the agencies have rejected the German automaker’s plan to the repair its U.S. 2.0-liter diesel models affected by the Dieselgate. Specifically, CARB says the repairs do not put “vehicles into compliance and reduce pollution.”
The plan submitted on Nov. 20, 2015 was rumored to involve a new catalytic converter system. VW hoped this additional exhaust treatment device would bring the vehicles’ tailpipe emissions into compliance without sacrificing either fuel economy or performance — two qualities diesel owners cherish.
According to CARB and the EPA, the plan fails to achieve the first — and most important — part of that plan. Specifically, CARB rejected the plan because: “The proposed plans contain gaps and lack sufficient detail, the descriptions of proposed repairs lack enough information for a technical evaluation; and the proposals do not adequately address overall impacts on vehicle performance, emissions and safety.”
The agencies point out that the rejected plan only applies to the some 500,000 models fitted with the VW 2.0-liter diesel engine. The repair plan for the larger 3.0-liter V6 diesel engines in VW, Audi and Porsche vehicles that were later implicated in the emissions-cheating scandal are due by Feb. 2, 2016.
“Volkswagen made a decision to cheat on emissions tests and then tried to cover it up,” said CARB Chair Mary D. Nichols. “They continued and compounded the lie and when they were caught they tried to deny it. The result is thousands of tons of nitrogen oxide that have harmed the health of Californians. They need to make it right. Today’s action is a step in the direction of assuring that will happen.”
CARB and the EPA have said the agencies will continue investigating and producing technical evaluations to bring the cars into compliance with emissions laws.
In September, 2015, Volkswagen admitted it had fitted over 11 million four-cylinder diesel models worldwide with “defeat device” software designed to cheat emissions testing. Since then, the scandal has grown to encompass all Volkswagen Group 3.0-liter V6 diesel models as well as some gasoline models. Since the scandal broke, the scandal launched”Goodwill” programs in place to appease owners of its affected diesel models.