The California Air Resources Board and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rejected Tuesday Volkswagen’s proposed fix for its illegally polluting 2-liter diesel engines and said the automaker’s plan lacked enough detail and information.
“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.”
According to a letter sent to Volkswagen, the automaker’s plans were “incomplete, substantially deficient, and fall far short of meeting the legal requirements.”
Fifteen leaders of environmental and health groups signed off on a letter sent to environmental regulators Dec. 18 asking officials to fully punish Volkswagen in response to Tesla CEO Elon Musk and others asking authorities to push for electric vehicles instead.
The letter, which was signed by the policy director for the Coalition for Clean Air and the director of the Sierra Club California, among others, calls for “vigorous enforcement of both criminal and civil laws” to deter actions like Volkswagen’s cheating of diesel emissions tests.
The California Air Resources Board and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency revealed in September that Volkswagen admitted to fitting nearly 500,000 cars in the U.S. with an illegal “defeat device” designed to cheat emissions tests. In November, the agencies said an additional 85,000 cars with 3-liter diesel engines were cheating too. (Read More…)
Tesla chief Elon Musk and more than 40 other executives called on the California Air Resources Board to release Volkswagen from its mandate to fix thousands of polluting cars in that state and instead invest that money in electric vehicles.
Musk, and other executives including Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, said regulators would more effectively reduce emissions to “cure the air, not the cars,” according to the letter:
A satisfactory way to fix all the diesel cars does not likely exist, so this solution side steps the great injury and uncertainty that imposing an ineffective fix would place on individual diesel car owners. A drawn out and partial failure of the process will only exacerbate the public’s lack of trust in the industry and its regulators. By explicit design, this proposal would achieve, in contrast, a minimum of a 10 (times) reduction in pollutant emissions as compared to a complete fix.
The California Air Resources Board told Volkswagen on Friday that it would take three more weeks to review the automaker’s proposed fix for its 2-liter diesel engines after the automaker added “significant” information to its plan, according to a letter sent by regulators.
The letter indicated that Volkswagen had submitted “additional significant information” to the board Dec. 14-16 regarding its proposed fixes for its illegally polluting cars and that the board would take until Jan. 14 to review that additional data. On Nov. 20, Volkswagen submitted its plan to CARB to fix more than 482,000 cars in the U.S., which could have been approved as early as Dec. 22.
It’s unclear from the letter what the additional information from Volkswagen may be. The automaker didn’t immediately comment on the letter. (Read More…)
On Friday, Volkswagen of America detailed its plan to fix nearly 500,000 illegally polluting diesels in the United States to officials with the Environmental Protection Agency, the government body announced in a statement late Friday. The automaker was required to detail the fix no later than Friday.
The EPA, along with the California Air Resources Board, will review the proposal, said the statement. However, the EPA did not detail the proposal to the media or public and did not give a timeframe on when to expect the proposal to be detailed publicly.
The proposal only addresses issues detailed by the EPA in its September 18 Notice of Violation that applies to Volkswagen’s 2-liter diesel engines and not the 3-liter diesels which may also be cheating emissions tests.
Volkswagen will have to submit Friday its plans to the California Air Resources Board and Environmental Protection Agency to fix hundreds of thousands of illegally polluting cars in the U.S., Reuters reported (via Automotive News). Although a fix is due today, testing that fix could take months before it would be installed in cars.
The deadline for the automaker comes after it announced it would ask Michael Steiner, head of Porsche development and quality, to oversee Volkswagen’s compliance with officials worldwide to fix up to 11 million cars. In Europe, Volkswagen demonstrated a fix for its 1.6-liter diesel engine that included an air sensor and software update that cost around $10.68, according to German outlet Wirtschaftswoche.
Volkswagen has said that its newer cars would likely only need a software update to be compliant. Older cars that are equipped with EA189 2-liter diesel engines may need more costly fixes.
Officials from Volkswagen will meet with U.S. environmental regulators this week to discuss how it plans to fix nearly 500,000 illegally polluting cars, according to Reuters. Officials from Audi will meet with regulators separately.
According to the report, Friedrich Eichler, VW’s powertrain development chief, will meet with officials from the Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board to discuss proposed fixes for its cars ahead of its Nov. 20 deadline.
This month, a source indicated to TTAC that Volkswagen would start fixing its cars in February, pending approval from the EPA and CARB.
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