LEAKED: Volkswagen Sends "EcoPlus" Diesel Fix to Customer

Mark Stevenson
by Mark Stevenson

It looks like Volkswagen has inadvertently sent a fix for its illegally polluting TDI vehicles to a customer, along with a letter spelling out the costs of said fix.

The fix, which is included on an OBD II adapter, wasn’t supposed to be sent with the letter, explained the TDI owner who wished to remain anonymous. Other TDI owners can expect to receive their fix in the next 90 days, says the letter.

From the letter:

Dear Volkswagen Owner,

As you are more than likely aware, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is investigating the emissions compliance of certain model year Volkswagens powered by the TDI series of diesel engines. Although Volkswagen admits no fault or wrongdoing in this issue, and points out further that vehicles powered by the TDI engine family have met the most stringent and ethically administered emissions tests in Europe, to prevent customer dissatisfaction among our United States base of existing owners we have engineered a solution that addresses the EPA’s concerns while continuing to deliver the low-consumption, environmentally conscious TDI experience that our owners love.

During the next 90 days, you will be contacted by your dealership with an offer to take advantage of our EcoPlus reprogramming service. The EcoPlus is a small device that connects to your Volkswagen vehicle through the existing diagnostic port — no greasy fingers or bruised knuckles required! That’s the Volkswagen way! After the dealer connects the EcoPlus device to your vehicle, you’ll be asked to drive as you normally do for a period of seven (7) to fourteen (14) days, at which point you’ll return to your dealer to have the device removed.

At that point, your TDI Volkswagen will comply with the most stringent EPA tests at any time. It’s that easy!

If you purchased your VW TDI used, or if you have moved away from your selling dealer, please contact Volkswagen of America via physical mail at the following address:

Attention: EcoPlus Compliance Program

Volkswagen Group of America

2200 Ferdinand Porsche Dr.

Herndon, VA 20171

Include your VIN, your current physical address where the car is located, and the best times and method to reach you.

Be aware that by connecting the EcoPlus device to your car, you may be waiving your right to legal recourse in most states, exempting California and Rhode Island. You will also be changing your powertrain warranty coverage to a total of 12 months/12,000 miles after the EcoPlus device is connected, regardless of current warranty coverage.

Drivers may notice a decrease in fuel efficiency of between 5 and 32 percent, depending on climate, engine model year, and driving habits. Some drivers may also notice a decrease in power under certain conditions, such as full-throttle driving or highway operation. In some tests, the power rating of the VW TDI engine was affected by as much as 26 percent during full-throttle operation in cold climates. Finally, the increased duty cycle brought on by changes in engine programming may significantly reduce the time between major services for TDI engines coupled to a manual transmission.

For more information, please write to the address above.

With all the performance and fuel economy losses, you’d be foolish to plug this into your Volkswagen.

Mark Stevenson
Mark Stevenson

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3 of 54 comments
  • TMA1 TMA1 on Apr 01, 2016

    In other news, I noticed as I was filling up last night that diesel is now 10 cents less than regular. Is it like that for anyone else? Good time to buy a TDI, if that were still an option.

  • Brettc Brettc on Apr 01, 2016

    Good one! I got about 1/3 of the way through before I realized it sounded too ridiculous to even be from VW despite what's happened in the last 6 months. Then I realized it was still April 1 and you guys were making a joke at a joke of a company's expense. As Mike Brewer would say, top work!

  • Ajla Nice car.
  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X Not at all.
  • Verbal Here's a little tale about long-term Tesla ownership.In 2017 my buddy bought a three year-old Model S for $68k, which was the going rate at the time. He kept it garaged and treated it with kid gloves. It looked and ran virtually like new. The only problem he ever had with it was some kind of recurring issue with the driver's door handle. He never had to replace the brakes.A couple months ago, at ten years of age, the original battery finally bricked. Tesla quoted him $17k to do a battery replacement. But! If he replaced the battery, they would give him $11k in trade on a new Tesla!!! You don't have to be a math genius to see that those are crooked numbers.Using aftermarket parts is a non starter. Rebuilt batteries can be sketch. And the cap that goes on the battery is a Tesla-only part.Most people don't have $17k burning a hole in their pocket for a car repair. What are you going to do? Ask your credit union for a $17k loan to put a new battery in your ten year-old car? Good luck with that.A local auto recycler quoted him $1000. The recycler said that if he replaced the battery, the car would have a resale value in the low $20k's. That wouldn't give him enough headroom to make it worth his while. He said there are 150,000 dead Teslas in the national inventory (don't know where he gets this figure). And there's no demand for used Tesla parts, since most Tesla owners seem to treat their cars well. So Teslas with dead batteries have marginal scrap value.Thus, my friend's Tesla, with 80k miles on the clock and in excellent condition, with a dead battery, was scrapped. During his ownership, the car depreciated by around $800 a month.He saved a lot of money by not paying for gas, oil changes, tune ups, and consumables. But in the end, all those saving were erased by huge depreciation.Welcome to long term Tesla ownership, folks.(Cue the wailing and rending of garments from the Tesla fanboyz.)
  • Aja8888 My BIL had one of these years ago. great car!
  • Wjtinfwb Job cuts and EV's... is that a winning strategy? You're locked in to substantial labor expense after the UAW agreement signed a few months ago. And EV's ain't exactly flying off the shelves en masse. Get the new Charger out already, it's been teased more than the Bronco and Supra were combined. Get a real Hybrid option out for the RAM trucks and big Jeeps that consumers will buy. Consider bringing back a Gen 3 Hemi with an aluminum block, direct injection and perhaps a Hybrid option to counter the Toyota debacle and get a jump on GM. Dump the Hornet and build Dodge a version of the Jeep Compass they can actually sell. A Dodge with Alfa bones isn't compelling to either brands fans. Fix the Durango's oil cooler problems to avoid alienating police departments nationwide. Do you want every cop in the US driving an Explorer? Freshen up the Pacifica and get Chrysler a cool sedan or wagon that can create a buzz like the 300 did more than a decade ago. And fix your dealers, they are by a large jackasses. Plenty of opportunity for improvement.