By on April 1, 2016


Volkswagen’s slow roll-out of fixes for recalled diesel vehicles in Europe has hit a snag.

Authorities in Europe have put the brakes on a series of Volkswagen recalls after greater fuel consumption was allegedly recorded in models that have undergone the diesel emissions fix, Automotive News Europe is reporting.

Reports say that fuel economy suffered after the fix, forcing Germany’s Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) to halt the repairs of 2.0-liter Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda models.

Volkswagen is denying the delay has to to with a jump in fuel consumption. A spokesman for the automaker told Automotive News Europe, “We have to guarantee that noise and especially CO2 emissions are exactly the same as before the fix.”

The checks being conducted by the KBA could be done as early as next week, the spokesman said.

In the U.S., Volkswagen can’t start fixing vehicles until it lays out a comprehensive repair plan to regulators and authorities, a task it has until April 21 to accomplish.

The first stage of the automaker’s European recalls started on Jan. 28, when it won approval from the KBA to begin repairing Amarok pickups equipped with 2.0-liter diesel engines. That repair involved a software update that wasn’t expected to impact performance or fuel consumption.

The phase currently on hold involves 160,000 Volkswagen Passats and 90,000 Audi A4, A5, and Skoda Superb models equipped with the same engine.

Of the three four-cylinder diesels being recalled in Europe, only the 1.6-liter requires anything more than a software update — in this case, the installation of a mesh screen to regulate airflow.

At the same time these models are cooling their heels in Europe, 91,000 Passats are being recalled in the U.S. due to a wiring defect that could spark a fire underneath the vehicle.

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20 Comments on “Volkswagen’s European Diesel Recall Grinds to a Halt, Post-Fix Mileage Blamed...”

  • avatar

    Not sure how anyone expects a fix not to harm either MPG or performance ?????

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Agreed…or engine life expectancy/maintenance issues.

      I’d like to see some data before jumping too hard on this story, though.

    • 0 avatar

      Agreed. Had a similar solution existed, they’d have it installed from the beginning.

      It’s a hard truth for any performance engineer: cost/complexity, NOx levels and efficiency, you can only pick two at a time. No silver software bullets, unfortunately.

    • 0 avatar

      In attempting to punish VW, the customer actually gets punished twice — the first time for VW deceiving them, and a second time with a fix that harms their car’s mpg and performance.

      There’s something to be said for leaving the cars alone and making VW fix the air. This was suggested by Elon Musk and other business leaders.

    • 0 avatar

      Oh there are VW fans in the B&B that will argue with you that all they need to do is fix the software, and power, performance, duty cycle for maintenance, consumption of urea, and MPG won’t change.

      It’s a simple fix – just software and done.

      • 0 avatar

        “It’s a simple fix – just software and done.”

        Sadly, this outlook is not limited to VW fans in the B&B. It sounds awfully like my manager. :)

    • 0 avatar

      Pretty sure this is just about putting off an inevitable buy back program for as long as possible. Consumers are probably going to need to take them to court.

  • avatar

    Does anyone besides me think that the “wire mesh to regulate airflow” will have absolutely no effect on emissions?

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      VW knows their work will be scrutinized, so I’m sure they’ve considered the doubts of the armchair engineers like us.

      Supposedly this fix provides the MAF with more accurate information over a wider band of airflow rates, thus allowing the engine to run cleaner.

    • 0 avatar

      According to the J.C. Whitney Scientific Literature, such a device ‘Breaks the incoming air into smaller particles, allowing more complete combustion, resulting in improved fuel mileage, increased horsepower, and reduced emissions.’

      And it’s only $29.95!

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      Is this not to be confused with chicken wire?

  • avatar

    No sh!t, Sherlock. What were they expecting?

  • avatar

    Beta test fail

  • avatar

    What happened to Germany’s supposedly nit picking regulators? Did they not do their own pre and post fix emissions and fuel economy tests on VW’s proposed fix?

  • avatar

    I call BS.

    “We have to guarantee that noise and especially CO2 emissions are exactly the same as before the fix.”

    Uhm… Isn’t the emissions what is supposedly being fixed?

    • 0 avatar

      No, the NOx emissions are being fixed, not the CO2 emissions. NO and NO2 are not greenhouse gases, while CO2 and N2O are. The NOx emissions have different effects on the environment.

    • 0 avatar

      CO2 emissions are a direct representative of fuel economy. EU requires cars be rated for CO2 output in grams per km; if the NOx fix reduces fuel economy then those CO2 ratings are now invalid.

      • 0 avatar

        Yup. If fuel consumption increases, then so does CO2 in grams per distance traveled. There is no way that this fix will not affect the other monitored emissions levels.

    • 0 avatar

      Too much whiskey, not enough reading.

      NOx emissions = smog

      CO2 emissions = greenhouse gas (the equivalent of fuel economy)

      NOx emissions ≠ CO2 emissions

  • avatar

    Yet the Jetta TDI still gets a “most efficient” tag on TTAC, well after the emissions scandal broke.

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