California Regulator Responds to Volkswagen's 3.0-Liter Diesel Fix With a Resounding 'Nope'

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
california regulator responds to volkswagens 3 0 liter diesel fix with a resounding

California’s Air Resources Board wants nothing to do with Volkswagen’s proposed fix for its 3.0-liter VW, Audi and Porsche TDI models equipped with emissions-cheating defeat devices.

The regulator rejected the automaker’s plan yesterday, and later issued a release calling it “incomplete and deficient in a number of areas.” For Volkswagen, CARB’s rejection is a major setback to its goal of settling the rest of its diesel emissions scandal fallout without another expensive buyback program.

Volkswagen will spend $15.3 million to settle claims and buy back (or fix) 475,000 2.0-liter TDI models in the U.S., but it hoped its 3.0-liters would side-step that fate with a technical fix. Though the scandal affects fewer 3.0-liter vehicles, they’re much more high-end than the smaller displacement models.

Just last month, company representatives stated in court that fixing the 85,000 U.S. vehicles would be easy.

CARB’s decision affects about 16,000 vehicles in California. The bigger problem for the automaker is that any nationwide fix needs approval from both the Environmental Protection Agency and CARB.

In its letter to the company, CARB said the automaker’s submissions are “incomplete, substantially deficient, and fall far short of meeting the legal requirements to return these vehicles to the claimed certified configuration.”

The proposal’s failures were many. Among other issues, it didn’t describe the undisclosed defeat devices on the affected vehicles, failed to estimate the fix’s effect on fuel economy and performance, and didn’t say what emissions levels regulators could expect (or how the vehicle would maintain compliance over time).

Discussions between the automaker, CARB and the EPA continue, but Volkswagen’s dream of wrapping up its U.S. troubles in anything resembling a hurry seems dashed.

[Image: Porsche Cars North America]

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  • Paragon Paragon on Jul 14, 2016

    So back in the day, when the VW conspirators hatched their devious plans, they mistakenly assumed that they would never get caught. Because they think they are oh so smart. Thus, no plan was put in place for if and when they get caught, er, busted! While bad publicity is still free publicity, I don't think it will really help them in their goal to sell cars in the U.S.

    • See 1 previous
    • Paragon Paragon on Jul 14, 2016

      @brettc Yes, you make a very good point. And, that expression you quoted was told to me by a supervisor many years ago.

  • Jpolicke Jpolicke on Jul 15, 2016

    VW's original description of the 3.0 problem was some software that affected operation in order to heat up the catalyst faster. By failing to describe the software I suspect that this was also a lie that VW doesn't want exposed.

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