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Air Resources Board rejects Volkswagen 2.0L diesel emissions recall plan

Volkswagen’s proposed fix for vehicles with diesel engines containing ‘defeat device’ software has been rejected by the Air Resources Board in California.

WHILE THE WHOLE world is up in arms over Volkswagen’s diesel emissions deception, it’s really only owners of affected vehicles in California who have a case against the German car maker. While some lawyers in the US, and here in Australia are pursuing a case of ‘buyers not getting what it said on the box’, if the vehicle’s haven’t broken local emissions laws, then…

But that’s not the point. Late last year, Volkswagen announced a technical solution for 2.0-litre turbo-diesel vehicles containing the defeat device. This fix was likely to be the basis of its solution for all vehicles affected by the emissions software, but the plan has been rejected by the Californian Air Resources Board.

It’s worth noting this rejection of the proposed recall plan by VW only affects Volkswagen of America vehicles, although any proposed rectification work is likely to flow out to the rest of the world.

“Volkswagen made a decision to cheat on emissions tests and then tried to cover it up,” said CARB Chair Mary D. Nichols. “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.”

The CARB letter to Volkswagen of America’s head of engineering, said: “VW’s submissions are incomplete, substantially deficient, and fall far short of meeting the legal requirements to return these vehicles to the claimed certified configuration… California recall regulations require expeditious action, and VW’s proposed extension is not acceptable.

The letter goes on to list other areas where the plan fails, and you can read it here:

While VW’s proposed fix seems to require more attention and clarification to satisfy CARB and the US Environmental Protection Agency, CARB is also concerned that the cars containing the defeat device are still being driven around and “have been emitting and continue to emit excess oxides of nitrogen well beyond their certified emissions levels”.

Another area of concern for CARB, is the lack of technical detail surrounding the fix proposed by VW. CARB claims there was insufficient detail provided by VW for its own boffins to ascertain whether it truly would address the emissions issue without affecting performance and fuel consumption.

Seems the showdown between California and VW looks set to continue well into 2016.

You can read the full series of letters sent by CARB to Volkswagen America, here:

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Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober