Buy back may not be necessary, after all.
The California Air Resources Board has begun testing a new suite of hardware and software changes that may finally fix Volkswagen’s emissions cheating device.
According to Reuters, CARB Chair Mary Nichols has said potential fixes for VW Group cars fitted with 2.0-liter diesel engines fitted with the defeat device, manufactured between 2009 and 2016, are being tested in conjunction with the automaker.
In January, CARB rejected a fix that didn’t bring emissions of nitrogen oxides and other pollutants down to legal levels. As a result, VW set up a compensation and buy back program that is expected to cost around $14.7 billion.
Should the new fix be accepted, VW will be spared that expense and may start to repair its reputation in the United States, though it would probably still face class action lawsuits and prosecutions, both of which could lead to massive pay-outs.
In order to be approved, the fix must bring pollution levels down to 80 to 90 per cent of the allowed limit. But even if falls short, it may still be approved as Volkswagen has agreed to spend $2.7 billion to reduce diesel emissions from other sources.
475,000 cars in the U.S. are fitted with the defeat device. Worldwide, 11 million are affected.