By on May 19, 2017


The Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board will soon announce an approved fix for roughly 84,000 recalled Volkswagen diesels. As part of VW’s buyback program of cars equipped with emissions-cheating defeat devices, the soon-to-be-certified modification allows 2012-2014 Passat TDIs to operate within acceptable pollution guidelines.

Volkswagen has already designed fixes for the Generation 3 diesel 2.0-liter engines, providing vehicle owners the choice to keep and repair their car, or to have it bought back. Similar fixes in Europe have yielded complaints of reduced fuel economy, starting difficulties, trimmed power, weak acceleration, and even abnormal sounds. As usual, if you want to hold onto your TDI, you may be doing so at your own risk

Still, test data and technical information submitted to EPA and CARB by the automaker has demonstrated that the emissions modifications shouldn’t affect vehicle fuel economy, reliability, or longevity. The agencies also claim to have confirmed those conclusions through independent testing and analysis at their own laboratories.

Nobody would condemn VW owners for thinking it over before they made a commitment, however.

The new mending is specifically for older model Passats equipped with the 2.0-liter engine and automatic transmission. Those vehicles join the 67,000 2015 model year Beetle, Golf, SportWagen, Jetta, Passat, and Audi A3 diesel cars already available with EPA-approved fixes. It’s assumed the repair jobs will function similarly, involving a two-stage software adjustment and swapping some old hardware out for new.

Sources briefed on the matter told Automotive News the fix has already been approved internally, and is only awaiting an official announcement. Volkswagen can then notify owners of their options directly.

This latest news whittles the number of 2.0-liter VW vehicles without a regulator-approved repair down to 325,000.

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7 Comments on “EPA to Approve Diesel Repair for an Additional 84,000 Volkswagens: Report...”

  • avatar

    Good news I guess for the gen 2 2.0 litre owners if they want to hold on to their cars. I doubt gen 1 will ever get an approved fix, but you never know.

  • avatar

    I was very surprised to see that the TDI was back at my local dealer. The Sales manager said that they’d gotten 30 and that they were all gone.

    I have to give Kudos where due to Mohegan Lake VW in NY.

    We like to beat up on VW dealers, but it turns out that some sales folk are “ambassadors” for the TDI recall. I explained my CSR nightmare and requests for mystery documents on the TDI refund website. He picks up the phone, calls a secret direct number in Auburn Hills, and gets an intelligent, english first language person on the phone. (already not having wasted 30 minutes on hold….)Turns out that the Dealers have a parallel track, and I actually get an answer as to the “proof of first sale”, which turns out to be a letter from the Insurance Company with some specific information points; this wasn’t “proof of first sale” as the website kept saying.

    That, and a good lease price with mad incentives, got an manual Ace of Base Jetta S out the door for the college kid. (I know, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over hoping for a different result…)

    He stopped trying to sell me another TDI instantly when I talked about the Diesel Particulate Filter, and the reason I was obsessed with getting this payment, which I don’t practically deserve, was to get the uncompensated repair bill back. He knew it was a $3000 day right off the bat.

    I think you’d have to be nuts to buy a TDI. The problem isn’t the car or engine, but the emissions system is NOT set up for the long haul, and compliant or not, you may expect a big bill at 120k or so for a DPF. The famed longevity will probably only occur if you toss the DPF and EGR, and run totally illegal with a Tune. That is good for much extra torque and mpg, but you have to live in a non emissions state, and not care about rolling coal 24/7. Anyone who buys a TDI must accept that they will be at a dealer, with a big bill, somewhere in year five to seven, a bill that would not exist but for the diesel….

    • 0 avatar

      My local dealer still has at least 7 2015 TDIs on the lot, and several of them are wagons. I had read that they were “flying off the lot”, but in Maine it doesn’t seem that way. Those same cars were there last weekend as well…

      I also think you’d have to be insane to buy another TDI, especially one sitting around for about 2 years. People know about the problems with the 2009-2014 cars, so why would you want to deal with the 2015 exclusive EA288 engine?

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    Well said. You win the internet today!

  • avatar
    George B

    “…test data and technical information submitted to EPA and CARB by the automaker has demonstrated that the emissions modifications shouldn’t affect vehicle fuel economy, reliability, or longevity…”

    Compared to the prior test data on a dynamometer in a lab or an A/B comparison of cars on a road or test track? It’s my understanding that TDI owners saw better fuel economy and lower urea usage on the road in the cheating mode than occur in the emissions-compliant software mode.

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