After nearly two years since the biggest automotive scandal in recent memory began, the Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board finally approved a fix for Volkswagen’s 2.0-liter TDI diesel engine to make it compliant with emission regulations. The move clears the way for VW to finally offer a long-promised alternative to simply buying back vehicles. The manufacturer says the fix covers 98 percent of affected cars, including the 2009 - 2014 Jetta TDI and SportWagen TDI, 2010 - 2014 Golf TDI, 2012 - 2014 Beetle TDI, and the 2010 - 2013 Audi A3 TDI.
“Volkswagen is pleased that it has received regulatory approval to offer affected customers in the United States an approved emissions modification (AEM) for approximately 326,000 Generation One 2.0L TDI vehicles with automatic and manual transmissions,” the manufacturer said in a statement. “This important milestone means that an approved emissions modification is now available for more than 98 percent of eligible 2.0L TDI vehicles in the United States.”
Volkswagen says the fix is a combination of hardware and software changes, with the most obvious being the removal of the cheat software that detected when the vehicle was being tested. Other changes include the NOx catalyst, and for 2009 models only, additional emission control hardware will be replaced.
Neither the automaker nor the EPA have mentioned specifics on how the changes will affect performance. According to the EPA’s statement, VW submitted data that shows emissions compliance without negatively affecting durability or reliability, but both sources are mum when it comes to horsepower and fuel economy. VW will begin notifying customers of the fix, which of course will be performed free of charge.
The depths to which this emissions scandal has rocked not just Volkswagen but the entire auto industry can’t be understated. Since news first broke in September 2015, numerous automakers including Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, General Motors, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW have been scrutinized for potential diesel emission violations.
Source: Volkswagen, EPA
Volkswagen Statement in Reaction to EPA and CARB Approval of Modification of “Generation 1” 2.0-Liter Diesel Vehicles
“Volkswagen is pleased that it has received regulatory approval to offer affected customers in the United States an approved emissions modification (AEM) for approximately 326,000 Generation One 2.0L TDI vehicles with automatic and manual transmissions. This important milestone means that an approved emissions modification is now available for more than 98 percent of eligible 2.0L TDI vehicles in the United States.
Eligible customers will be notified that they can receive a modification free of charge at their preferred dealership if they want to keep their vehicles.”
For your reference, these vehicles include:
· VW Jetta TDI (Model Years 2009 – 2014)
· VW Jetta SportWagen TDI (Model Years 2009-2014)
· VW Golf TDI (Model Years 2010-2014)
· VW Beetle TDI and VW Beetle Convertible TDI (Model Years 2012 – 2014)
· Audi A3 TDI (Model Years 2010 – 2013)
EPA’s Press Release is Below
EPA and California Air Resources Board Approve Remedy to Reduce Excess NOx Emissions from “Generation 1” 2.0-Liter Diesel Vehicles
On July 27, 2017, EPA and the California Air Resources Board approved an emissions modification proposed by Volkswagen (VW) that will reduce nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions from model year 2009 – 2014 diesel Jetta, Golf, Beetle, and Audi A3 vehicles.
With the approval, VW will offer owners of these vehicles the choice to keep and fix their car, or to have it bought back. To obtain this approval, VW submitted test data and technical information that demonstrates that the modification will reduce emissions without negatively affecting vehicle reliability or durability. VW will thoroughly identify any differences in vehicle attributes (such as fuel economy) so owners may make an informed choice.
The approval means that VW can notify customers that the emissions modification is available and begin performing the modification at its dealerships. The approved modification involves both software and hardware changes. VW will remove the defeat device software that reduced emission control effectiveness in all but emissions testing circumstances, and replace it with software that directs the emission controls to function effectively in all typical vehicle operations. VW will also replace the NOx catalyst and, for 2009 models, certain other emission control system hardware.