News - Volkswagen
Proposed VW diesel fix rejected
CARB tuning: The Californian Air Resources Board is not satisfied with Volkswagen's dirty diesel recall plan, and the car-maker must try again to avoid a buyback worst case scenario.
CARB knocks back Volkswagen's 2.0-litre diesel recall plan
14 January 2016
VOLKSWAGEN'S proposed solution to the unfolding diesel emissions scandal in the
United States has been rejected by the Californian Air Resources Board (CARB).
In November last year, the German car giant submitted its official plan of how
it planned to reverse the emissions test cheat device that was fitted to
thousands of 2.0-litre diesel engines in the US, but after reviewing the
details, the Californian authorities are not satisfied that it goes far enough.
According to the official letter of rejection, Volkswagen's submitted recall
strategy fails to include all information as laid out in a previous demand from
the CARB and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), with gaps in almost all
While Volkswagen had touched on the necessary areas in its proposal, CARB says
the plan lacked detail and contains gaps, proposed repairs do not have enough
detail to evaluate for feasibility, and their effect on performance and
durability is not adequately outlined.
The letter also claims the VW emission recall plan would fail to correct the
problem “in an expeditious manner”, and as such, an official notice of
violation (NOV) accompanies the letter of rejection, identifying 75,688
vehicles that do not conform to Californian law.
The Californian authorities have issued a list of proposal sections that must
be reviewed and updated, but CARB has highlighted three areas which it
considers the most serious and requiring the most attention.
“First, VW fails to describe the nonconformities in sufficient detail for CARB
to adequately understand them in the context of the recall plans, in order to
determine whether the proposed fixes are feasible or would remedy each of the
nonconformities,” it said in the letter to Volkswagen Group of America.
“Second, VW fails to specifically describe the fixes in the proposed recall
plans in a manner that allows CARB to adequately evaluate whether they could be
successful or are even technically feasible.
“Third, the proposed plans do not sufficiently address impacts on the engine,
the engine's overall operation, and all related emission control technologies,
including the OBD system.”
It is now up to Volkswagen to address the deficient areas and resubmit an
updated proposal and, as such, the EPA is still considering a recall as a
possible solution to the defeat device.
CARB explained that the NOV and proposal rejection does not preclude a recall,
but allows for the consideration of other avenues on how to resolve the
situation, future environmental harm mitigation and the assessment of penalties.
However, if an acceptable recall strategy that fixes the problem in an
expedient manner, without undue inconvenience to owners or a reduction in
performance and reliability cannot be found “a buyback may be part of ongoing
discussions”, said CARB.
While it is not expected that any solution to the defeat device will be low
cost for the German car-maker, a buyback would be dramatically more expensive
and complex to orchestrate than recalling the defective fleet.
CARB chair Mary Nichols said Volkswagen was responsible for significant damage
to the Californian environment and it would not get off lightly.
“Volkswagen made a decision to cheat on emissions tests and then tried to cover
it up,” she said “They continued and compounded the lie and when they were
caught they tried to deny it.
“The result is thousands of tons of nitrogen oxide that have harmed the health
of Californians. They need to make it right. Today's action is a step in the
direction of assuring that will happen.”
Only 2.0-litre diesels are affected by the rejection, and Volkswagen is
expected to submit a recall proposal for 3.0-litre six-cylinder engines on