Both software and hardware changes are necessary.

With the official approval of The Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) in Germany, VW is getting ready to kick off another recall campaign caused by the messy and costly Dieselgate. This time around, it involves a total of 2.6 million European cars equipped with the turbodiesel four-cylinder, 1.6-liter TDI engine from the now infamous EA 189 family. It’s installed in a wide array of models from Audi, Skoda, and SEAT, as well as in cars from the core brand.

VW’s engineers will have to apply a “software update” to make things right once again, and owners of affected cars are going to be contacted by the company in the weeks to come. In addition, the engine will have to go through some hardware changes as a so-called "flow conditioner" will be affixed upstream of the air mass meter, a procedure which will require less than a half an hour of working time.

With both software and hardware modifications in place, cars fitted with the 1.6-liter TDI are going to fully comply with all the statutory requirements as well as the emissions standards. Needless to say, all of the costs generated by the recall are going to be incurred by the VW Group.

There are around 8.5 million cars in Europe (out of a total of 11M vehicles worldwide) fitted with rigged TDI engines. Modifying cars powered by the larger 2.0-liter unit began early this year, while the implementation of a technical solution for the small 1.2-liter engine is also under way. Now that VW has approval from the KBA for all three engines part of the EA 189 family, it can recall all of the Euro-spec affected cars.

What it won’t do is offer compensations for European buyers, nor will it buy back cars as it plans on doing in United States. As a matter of fact, VW says its diesel shenanigans do not actually violate European laws, so technically the company believes it has done nothing wrong from a legal point of view. In an e-mail exchange with Reuters, one of the officials said:

“The software contained in vehicles with an EA 189 engine in the view of Volkswagen represents no unlawful defeat device under European law. The efficiency of the emissions cleanup system will not be reduced in those vehicles which however would be a prerequisite for the existence of an unlawful defeat device in the legal sense.”

Morally speaking, it’s still a deceit regardless of how VW spins the story.

Source: Volkswagen, Reuters

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Volkswagen receives go-ahead from the Federal Motor Transport Authority for the modification of models with the 1.6-litre EA 189 TDI engine

  • Implementation of the technical solution begins for 2.6 million affected Group models
  • Official go-ahead for all sizes of EA 189 TDI engines has now been given
  • Customers being promptly and directly informed, then able to book a workshop visit without delay


The technical solutions for 2.6 vehicles with EA 189 1.6-litre TDI engines have been approved by the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA). Implementation can therefore soon begin on the first of the vehicles of the third and final engine size. The vehicle keepers will be notified in succession over the coming weeks. All affected customers can then book their vehicle in for the modification at an authorised workshop at a time of their choosing.

The modification in the case of the EA 189 1.6-litre TDI engines involves a software update. In addition, a so-called flow conditioner is being fixed directly upstream of the air mass meter. The implementation will take less than an hour of working time.

The KBA has said without qualification that the implementation of the technical solutions for these models causes no detrimental changes to fuel consumption levels, performance data or noise emissions. The KBA had previously already affirmed this for all other models approved for the recall. After the modification, the vehicles also fulfil all statutory requirements and the duly applicable emissions standards.

The modification of vehicles with affected 2.0-litre TDI engines began back at the start of the year. The implementation of the technical solutions for affected models with EA 189 1.2-litre TDI engines is also under way. With KBA approval now having been given for the final engine size group as well, work will shortly begin on the modification for vehicles with the affected EA 189 engine. It is thus now possible to bring affected models with 1.2-litre, 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre TDI engines up to due standard.

In Germany customers are being informed in a two-stage process. In stage one, all of the owners concerned were already notified this spring that their vehicle is affected by the modification programme through a letter agreed with the authorities. As soon as the technical solutions for a model have been approved and are available, the customers are being asked in a second written communication to book their vehicle in with a partner business of their choice. This communication has now been sent to the owners of vehicles with the 1.6-litre TDI engine as well.

Volkswagen is continuing to put every effort into implementing the technical solutions and will correct all vehicles affected by the NOx issue. This is being done in close consultation with the relevant authorities. The customers will incur no costs as a result of the technical measures being carried out. As part of the recall process all customers are also being offered an appropriate replacement means of transport free of charge.

The vehicles affected are technically safe and roadworthy. Between now and their modification, they can continue to be used on the road without any restrictions. The required technical solutions are being implemented across Europe based on a schedule and action plan agreed with the KBA.