Back in Sept. 2015 in “What navigating the VW diesel vehicle recall road ahead may look like,” in getting right to the point, I wrote: “Vehicle-emissions testing has lately been in the spotlight on account of the controversy surrounding diesel-vehicle-exhaust-emissions rigging in the 11 million Volkswagen diesel-powered motor vehicles affected worldwide, which the company has admitted to. A big problem is how all of the fallout connected with this is going to be dealt with.”
“In September 2015, Volkswagen representatives admitted to CARB [the California Environmental Protection Agency Air Resources Board] and U.S. EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] the presence of a defeat device in 2.0 liter diesel passenger vehicles sold in model years 2009-2015,” the California Air Resources Board in “CARB and U.S. EPA approve emissions modification for limited number of VW 2.0 liter diesel vehicles: First approved modification is for ‘Generation 3’ 2015 vehicles” (a Jan. 6, 2017 news release) wrote. “This device, in the form of a set of software commands, engaged the car’s emission control system to deliver legal levels of nitrogen oxide (NOx) when the car was being tested for emissions in the laboratory. Once on the open road and out of the lab, however, the defeat device compromised operation of the emissions control system resulting in excess emissions of NOx at levels well beyond legal limits. Volkswagen sold approximately a half-million of the affected diesel vehicles in the U.S. including about 71,000 in California.”
Finding and implementing fixes to correct excessive levels (up to 40 times above legal limits in some cases) of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) released through the exhaust pipes of these vehicles for the company has been a painstaking process, undoubtedly. It is important to note, however, that, on at least some of these vehicles, an approved repair has been identified.
The Air Resources Board in California adds: “The California Air Resources Board (CARB) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) today announced approval of an emissions modification for a limited number of the Volkswagen 2.0 liter diesel vehicles with a so-called defeat device. The vehicles eligible for this modification are referred to as ‘Generation 3’ and appeared for a single year only, in model year 2015.
And, what does the modification entail?
From the same release, CARB expressed: “The current accepted modification … involves the installation of a second NOx sensor and a new or replacement diesel oxidation catalyst. This modification will reduce excess emissions from the affected vehicles by 80 to 90 percent.”
Furthermore, according to CARB, said vehicle owners have the option of having Volkswagen buy back the affected vehicle if they opt not to have the modification work done. The company was responsible for notifying affected vehicle owners within ten days of the Jan. 6, 2017 announcement.
Meanwhile, in a May 19, 2017 news release: “CARB announces emissions modification for more VW 2.0 liter diesels: Generation 2 automatics cleared for repair, Generation 2 vehicles with manual transmissions are not approved for modification,” the California air regulatory agency announced: “Eleven thousand more Volkswagen 2.0 liter diesel vehicles in California have been approved for emissions modifications required to reverse the effects of ‘defeat devices’ installed by the company. The modification approval” is “for the so-called ‘Gen 2’ automatic 2-liter diesel engine found in model years 2012-2014 … That approval covers about 10,600 vehicles in California.”
In the meantime, proposed emissions modifications concerning approximately 590 vehicles with manual transmissions from this group in the Golden State are being reevaluated and for around 49,000 Generation 1 automobiles (2009-2014 model year cars affected), still being evaluated are modifications for these, according to CARB in the May 19, 2017 release.
As to the 17,000 model year 2009-2016, 3.0 liter diesel vehicles so affected, “Engineering is also underway for possible modification,” the CARB announced.
That “vehicle recall road ahead” alluded to earlier is looking cleaner.
– Alan Kandel