On Tuesday, in the wake of the Dieselgate scandal, Volkswagen AG announced certain VW and Audi and Skoda TDI Diesel cars with EU5 Type EA 189 engines will be refitted. This technical solution is still being developed, and will be presented to responsible authorities during October. While the announcement does not contain details of what this will entail, it upholds Volkswagen’s promise to make this right.
The vehicles in question should never have been sold in the first place, because they should not have received government approval to be on the road. The affected cars all have 2.0 liter TDI Diesel engines whose emission control systems are programmed to only perform when undergoing an emissions test. In all other cases, including normal driving, the emissions control is turned off allowing the car to spew lots of nitrogen oxide (NOx) air pollution. NOx emissions levels are much higher than the legal limit, and for example if the EPA had known of this behavior it would have withheld the Certificate of Conformity required to sell those cars. Additionally, under U.S. law, the use of a “defeat device” to evade emissions tests is flatly illegal.
The first step of VW’s plan is to notify owners “that the emissions characteristics of their vehicles will be corrected in the near future.” Other than the emissions problem, VW reminds us that these cars are roadworthy and technically safe.
The Dieselgate problem affects cars made by VW’s Audi, Skoda and Volkswagen brands. Staff from all three brands will present “the technical solutions and measures to the responsible authorities in October.” Owners of affected cars will be kept informed during the process, and each brand will set up informational websites in each country to communicate the necessary information. Cars with the newer EU6 engines are not affected with the Dieselgate problem.
Earlier, Volkswagen’s management said VW staff was working at full speed to come up with a solution. Tuesday’s announcement said that “internal evaluation” determined it was necessary to perform a “service procedure” without giving details on what that procedure will entail.
In other news, Reuters is reporting that VW AG has suspended the R&D heads for Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche brands. Earlier, Volkswagen had said an internal investigation was underway and that some people had already been let go.