By on December 19, 2015


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.

According to the letter, Volkswagen submitted a request Dec. 15 to extend submission of its recall plan to the board. CARB officials said they would take until Jan. 14 to review that plan as well.

This month, German transportation officials approved a plan by Volkswagen to fix its European diesel cars. That plan, which affected 1.2-, 1.6- and 2-liter diesel cars, will begin in January. All of those cars will receive a software update, while some will need an additional mesh pipe added to the cars’ intakes.

Volkswagen officials said fixes for North American cars would be significantly different, although some of the cars would only need a software update. The vast majority of its diesel cars in the U.S. will need additional hardware along with software to comply with emissions standards.

CARB’s letter to Volkswagen only addressed the 2-liter diesel engines. Volkswagen has until February to detail its fix for 85,000 3-liter diesel engines that cheated emissions tests.

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21 Comments on “California Air Resources Board Delays Review of Volkswagen’s Diesel Fix...”

  • avatar

    VW is screwing up a lot of government employees’ holiday vacay.
    Causus belli.

  • avatar

    Check didn’t clear? Those CARB approved stickers aren’t free you know.

  • avatar

    How does three more weeks help the CARB decide if the new fix will last the 10 year, 100,000 mile mandate for emissions control???

    • 0 avatar

      Doesn’t have to.

      All CARB needs is a consent agreement from VW stating that the fix will comply, that CARB will conduct periodic conformance testing of the fixed vehicle fleet (at VW’s cost), and that non conformance will trigger recalls and big fines.

    • 0 avatar

      The only group that cares at all about the fix lasting that long is vw. Because if it doesn’t, they’ll have even more expenditures in warrantying that equipment.

  • avatar

    Knowing VW, that plastic flow-straightener they install will break away after 2 years and the plastic pieces will fly through intake valves into the engine and seize it. VW then will say this is normal, like 1 quart oil consumption over 1000 miles, and not a warranty case. Warranty doesn’t apply to aftermarket installed parts….

    Hope the EPA doesn’t let them get away easily like the EU does. After all, we talk about the same company that used diesel instead of engine oil for the fuel economy test to reduce friction to get better results.

    • 0 avatar

      Two liter diesels already have flow straighteners in them.

    • 0 avatar

      Why is that FS add-on an aftermarket part if it came from VW as part of a recall? At a minimum it will have a std 12m/12K mile warranty. There is a lot more plastic on the intake tract and it is very rare for any of it to break.

      You may know more about all the tricks they used to get higher mileage figures, but I am skeptical than diesel INSTEAD OF oil will let an engine run long enough to complete the suite, without impacting the FE numbers. Special lubricants, sure.

      I am curious if VW will do something to the original warranties that came with the cars. One way to really fk up VW’s accountanting would be for CARB to require them to extend the emissions warranties on all affected cars for an extra say 5/50K, and obviously rewrite the list of components included. It would be a nice way to hold them accountable for any under-spec’ed components that might fail due to an increased duty cycle after the reflash. I don’t expect CARB can mandate them to extend their powertrains if they dont want to, but they can reject the fix outright and force a buy back.

      • 0 avatar

        “Why is that FS add-on an aftermarket part if it came from VW as part of a recall?”

        He was being facetious, but given the temerity with which VW normally attempts to avoid warranty repairs, his scenario is not far from reality.

  • avatar

    Anyone else get the feeling that the entire (real) reason for the delay is that CARB realizes they finally have an automaker by the balls, so they’re going to milk it for all its worth?

    As an example to all the rest of the automakers, of course?

    Plus there is this little matter of making government employees actually work over the holidays . . . . .

    • 0 avatar

      If the punishment isn’t severe, all OEM will just keep cheating and think “I get caught 5% of the time, then pay a nominal fine and make that part of my cost calculation”. Same what ford did with exploding gas tanks…

      they commited crimes on various levels: tax fraud, EPA fraud, DOT fraud, consumer fraud and deception, all that covering up they have been and keep doing… Consider even the advertisement laws being broken, they falsely claimed their diesels are c better than hybrids from an enviormentla point etc. Imagine coca cola would have sold a drink that they claimed contained really healthy vitamin’s, but it turned out it didn’t? Or McDonalds sells a vegan meal and it turned out it contained meat?

      If I as a normal guy cheat on my taxes for years, sell fraudulent products, destroy and forge evidence.. I probably go to prison for life. why should a corporation get away easily?

    • 0 avatar

      CARB’s ultimate goal is to make sure car and light truck diesels disappear, maybe they’re trying to make sure they can get these 400,000 off the road.

  • avatar

    My guess is the delay is somehow related to the lawsuit settlement plan that will be handled by Mr. Feinberg. The longer the delay, the greater the chance that a buyback is in the works. The Gen 1 cars that don’t have SCR are probably going to be slated for some type of buyback (mileage-prorated, of course), while the cars with SCR will get a software fix and a hardware band-aid.

  • avatar

    It’d better be a good fix or CARB’s Mary Nichols will tear a new orifice for VW, and not taking a banana in the tailpipe, like Europe has. She’s having her claws sharpened and polished over the Christmas break.

    That’s one tough broad.

  • avatar

    The delay is due to the fact that the coffee strainer for the us market takes longer to brew than the espresso strainer for Europe did.

    Geez. Why do I always have to explain these things.

  • avatar

    Bad news for the Feds… Most TDI owners simply do not care about this emissions hoopla. First and foremost, TDIs help conserve the earth’s fossil fuel resources by saving billions of gallons of fuel; Second, when the entire supply chain is viewed holistically, and we factor in the environmental savings from NOT needing to drill, pump, refine, and transport the billions of gallons saved, TDI is still more environmentally friendly than the alternatives, including electric vehicles that depend on fossil plants for charging, and require environmentally problematic battery technology. The most amusing aspect of the government’s flailing and finger pointing is this…. It is extremely unlikely the government will be able to force any TDI owner to install undesirable retrofits. The 5th and 14th Amendments of the Constitution will prevent the Federal and State governments from depriving owners of use of their vehicles… It would amount to a “taking”. Think of it this way…. If they can make TDI owners retrofit their cars, why not simply make all owners of all old vehicles retrofit their cars? They won’t because they can’t. The EPA should simply levy an appropriate fine, require future compliance, and move on. – Commissioner Richard Rothschild

    • 0 avatar

      Wow I expected a better thought out response from someone with a red user name on here. I can check if recalls are done on my car with just the VIN, without getting up. What makes you think the DMV can’t do the same when you go to reregister your vehicle? One little bill attached to anything going through Congress will fix that. Look at how your lovely internet spying act was just pushed through with the budget.
      Even for states without emissions testing this is easily handled.

      Cash for clunkers did exactly what you said they can’t do but in a roundabout way to keep those cars out of poorer people’s hands.

      Next up, particulate emissions from direct injected gasoline vehicles all for a theoretical 3% BSFC maximum, increased operating costs (intake valve buildup) and more expensive repairs when HP fuel pumps and injectors fail. Eventually you’ll see particulate filters on those too.

    • 0 avatar

      Mik101 is giving you plenty, but I’ll pile on here.

      It would be easy to force a fix. What you say makes no sense.

      And wow, yeah, if they fix those TDIs that’s really going to make a huge dent on oil production. Never mind that to everyone else it’s pretty clear that we have already jumped the shark and there are no easy solutions. As in, its not a choice between co2 and NOX. Calling this a simple choice is seriously lacking in facts.

      Pro tip: when the constitution gets brought in to support a viewpoint in any random matter, that’s a dead giveaway of a very weak argument.

      • 0 avatar

        Vehicles need to meet the emission requirements for the model year they were sold in, there is no way to force manufacturers to retroactively add newer specs and features to older cars.

        The DMV could prevent licensing and title transfer of the vehicles, just like if I don’t pass my emissions test I can’t renew my tabs.. The Constitution argument is very weak as owners can probably continue to use these vehicles on private property, so they are not completely deprived of their use.

        A bigger issue is the loss of value of these vehicles if the fixes are not ideal.

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