By on October 12, 2015

Paul Willis

Volkswagen’s chief in the United Kingdom told representatives Monday that cars in that country likely wouldn’t need expensive urea tanks retrofitted to those cars to comply with emissions standards, AutoCar reported.

Volkswagen UK managing director Paul Willis told members of parliament that most of the 1.2 million cars in that country fitted with illegal “defeat devices” to cheat emissions tests would only need a software fix and not an additional urea tank that is widely believed to be needed in U.S. cars. About 400,000 cars would need a fuel injector replacement instead of the costly tank.

It’s likely that many of the cheating Volkswagens in the U.S. would need all or a combination of three fixes — software update, fuel injectors and a urea tank — to bring those cars into compliance.

Willis testified to the committee that the automaker “significantly let down its customers” by selling cars that polluted many times over the legal limit.

Willis criticized the European method for emissions tests as “old-fashioned and not fit for purpose,” but didn’t directly blame the test for the automaker’s actions.

“We mishandled the situation. That’s why we need to fix the cars, that’s why we need to get the customers in and need to put the cars right,” Willis said, according to the Belfast Telegraph. “We mishandled the situation without a shadow of a doubt.”

Last week, Volkswagen’s chief in America, Michael Horn, testified to a congressional committee that the automaker would take years to fix its cars.

(Photo courtesy Volkswagen)

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14 Comments on “Volkswagens in The UK Won’t Get Same Fixes as US Cars...”


  • avatar

    So, my TDi will need urea injection, a different cat con, software and injectors ?

    VW couldn’t hit the emission targets in seven or so years of R&D. I doubt that the answer is just a few keystrokes away, or that there is new science between approval of the current engines and right now.

    It certainly is an interesting problem. My cynicism tells me that it was a good decision to do brakes on the TDi as it surely isn’t going anywhere soon.

    Bring on the VW “RECALL EDITION”…..

    • 0 avatar
      WhiskeyRiver

      Hey… The urea tank isn’t the worst thing. On my F250 I just pee in the tank and fill it up with ammonia. Sometimes I add weird food color just to panic the service writer at the service shop.

  • avatar

    O NO

    What about the environmentz???

  • avatar
    Pch101

    US Tier 2 Bin 5 allows NOx of 50/70 mg per mile.

    Euro 5 allowed 180 mg per kilometer, which is about 290 mg per mile. That standard was in effect until September of this year.

    Euro 5 was obviously a much lower hurdle, so yes, it should be easier to fix the European-spec cars than the American ones.

  • avatar
    Domestic Hearse

    I thought Tom Clancy died.

  • avatar
    wmba

    Looks like Uncle Paul is delivering a fireside chat to the VW faithful in the UK.

    Most of the VW diesels sold there are much smaller than the 2.0 liter version sold in North America, so the fixes may be different especially as the Euro regs were pretty lax on NOx during the period before Euro VI this year. Euro V regs were 0.29 g/mile, when the corresponding US standard was 0.07 – four times less.

    For 2016, Euro is 0.08 g/mile, US is 0.04. So fixing the Euro cars to actually meet Euro V is a relative walk in the park.

  • avatar
    mchan1

    “… most of the 1.2 million cars in that country fitted with illegal “defeat devices” to cheat emissions tests would only need a software fix — not an additional urea tank that is widely believed to be needed in U.S. cars…”

    So… No urea device device fix for US VW diesels, then, Just a software fix?

    Guess the diesel engines still work though the software fix may just make it run the way it ‘should’… spewing out More toxic emissions.

    But does that mean lower fuel efficiency? No word yet from VW on what the software fix ‘will’ do and the consequences.

    The environmentalists and state governments will enjoy roasting VW further as well as the attorneys from the class action suits.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    It amazes me that some people want to leap to VW’s defense on this issue. There is absolutely nothing defensible about their actions and the long running cover up.

    But then again, hating the EPA and CARB is a matter of religious devotion for some.

  • avatar
    MrGrieves

    Outfitting the non-SCR cars in the USA with retrofitted SCR systems seems like an incredibly haphazard and poorly thought out activity. I just don’t see VWoA doing it. But at the same time, I’m not sure they know what they are doing.

    It might be in their best business interests to throw a significant number of their customers under the bus by implementing a poorly thought out solution that will leave them unhappy, pay out a lawsuit settlement, and call it a pyrrhic victory. If they become disgruntled buyers and don’t come back to VW for their next vehicle, well, so be it.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      “If they become disgruntled buyers and don’t come back to VW for their next vehicle, well, so be it.”

      How exactly would allowing this to happen be is different from how VW has been treating its American customers over the last couple of decades?

      I owned a 2001 VW Jetta TDI. I was doing enough highway driving that I calculated that I could made than make the payment on it based on the fuel savings. But, I didn’t realize it would cost me around $7k to maintain it for one year.

      That’s a bit of an outlier, perhaps, but VW (along with ZF) designed and sold a gearbox where the case cracked. And they kept selling the broken one over and over every 50k miles or so. I can sort-of understand an engineering mistake on an automatic transmission, but the warranty replacements should have been an improved design with the problem fixed. But, no, they just kept selling the same junk – because fixing a serious and expensive problem would have required admitting that German engineering isn’t perfect.

      That pattern was repeated at smaller scale throughout the vehicle. The vehicle was poorly designed, difficult to service, and unreliable compared to the Fords and Toyotas I’ve owned.

      I really liked my Jetta, too, and I cealry wanted to be a VW fanboy and repeat customer. But, I need a vehicre which can actually stand up to the American duty cycle – and VW wasn’t making them in 2001, and I have yet to see any evidence of a real turnaround.

      VW has been actively fighting against the possibility of repeat business for decades. Oh, and it turns out they’re cheating on both emissions and safety, too. Figures.

      Call we when VW is ready to compete with GM for reliability/reparability/longevity (instead of volume), and maybe I’ll give them a second look. Yes, I said GM.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    “Volkswagens in The UK Won’t Get Same Fixes as US Cars.”

    Charles Dickens & black lung Brits everywhere approve.

    Whatever happened to the notion that Europe, including the UK, was more stringent in terms of greenhouse emissions than ‘Murica?

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