The majority of the diesel engines Volkswagen installed in the cars it sold in America since 2009 were 2.0 liter 4 cylinders. But some were 3.0 liter V-6 turbo diesels. Of those,16,000 were sold in California even though they failed to meet emissions standards set by CARB, the California Air Resources Board. On Wednesday, CARB rejected a proposed plan submitted by Volkswagen to fix the non-conforming auxiliary emission control devices and computer operated defeat programs installed on those engines. Those engines were fitted to various Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche models.
The Board found the proposed recall plan was incomplete and deficient in a number of areas. CARB set forth its concerns in letters to all three companies. It says the proposed plan falls short in several key areas. Specifically, it fails to:
- Adequately describe the nonconformities and undisclosed AECDs/defeat devices;
- Sufficiently describe the remedial procedure;
- Specify the system by which VW will ensure the availability of sufficient repair parts;
- Describe the impact of proposed fixes on fuel economy, drivability, performance and safety;
- Describe the impact of repairs on emissions, particularly average noncompliance emission levels, average emission reductions per pollutant, and an average emission level after proposed fixes;
- Demonstrate how the proposed fixes are designed to correct the nonconformities;
- Provide onboard diagnostic system demonstration data;
- Demonstrate how the plan is designed to correct the nonconformities in an expeditious manner.
- Provide sufficient detail for ARB to evaluate the feasibility and success of the proposed plan.
Volkswagen must be wondering what it has to do to put the concerns of CARB and the EPA behind it. Just a few weeks ago, it agreed to a $14.7 billion package to resolve a federal court case brought by regulators and Volkswagen owners. $2 billion of that money will be used to fund infrastructure improvements for electric cars.
California will receive 40% of the money. Volkswagen will pay it $200 million every two and half years for ten years. Hopefully, California will use the money to fund improvements that will make it easier for drivers of electric and plug-in hybrid cars to find chargers when they need them. But the recent letter from CARB makes it clear that Volkswagen still has a long way to go to dig itself out of the hole it created for itself.
Source: Green Car Congress Photo credit: CARB website