Volkswagen, Audi Meeting With US Officials To Talk Fix
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.
Roughly 482,000 affected cars in the U.S. will require some kind of fix. Volkswagen has indicated that later models, equipped with the automaker’s EA288 diesel engine, may likely only need some sort of software update.
However, more than 300,000 cars in the U.S., which are equipped with the older EA189 engines, will require a more extensive fixes which could include significant hardware additions. Those cars, on sale since 2009 in the U.S., could illegally pollute up to 40 times more nitrogen oxides than allowed by law.
Volkswagen has admitted more than 11 million cars worldwide were affected by the diesel scandal.
VW's "fix" may be to abandon ship. Could be cheaper by tens of billions, and no payment of fines. I'm sure they've considered leaving the US before this mess. It hasn't been the same since the Nixon Administration anyway.
I doubt that an economically viable fix exists which would meet the letter and spirit of the emissions limits while preserving the durability and fuel economy of the vehicles in question. Wild guess: VW will propose a technical band aid which marginally reduces emissions without achieving the regulatory limits and then propose to somehow buy pollution reduction credits (akin to the indulgences of the middle ages). Said credits would have to theoretically make up for the excess pollution from VW diesel powered vehicles by scrubbing smoke stacks at coal fired power plants, buying woodland preservation easements and other similar tactics. Think Al Gore's "carbon neutral" offsets which he bought to theoretically balance the CO2 emissions of his mansion and jet. In other news, our erstwhile editors who decamped to dailykanban are saying that the NOx is going to hit the fan in one to two weeks when the industry wide practice of cheating on diesel emissions tests comes into the public eye. For several months now I have predicted that we would find this to be an industry wide practice not at all limited to VW. That is the only explanation for why non of VW's competitors blew the whistle on VW. Any decent sized vehicle company does technical testing and analysis of competing vehicles, so they had to know.
I don't think there is a "fix" for the diesel issue or VW would have implemented the "fix" way before being asked to do so. So, I ask, is VW (Very Winterkorn) about to join SAAB, Pontiac, Hummer, Mercury, Citroen, Studebaker, etc. in the U.S.?
VW knows how to lose money, but I'd be surprised if they're willing to lose face. Not on the scale of abandoning US sales, anyhow. There's already losing money on every TDI sold here, so why not do the right thing? Let's give every TDI owner who modifies his car a 100,000-mile extended warranty on the engine and emissions systems. That would certainly give me a reason to remain loyal (if I owned one). The warranty costs would be paid out over future years, beyond this crisis, which helps the company. If those costs turn out to be excessive, they can jack up the trade-in allowances on the (further depreciated) TDIs.