Volkswagen Emissions Fix Nears in U.S., Approved in Germany

Volkswagen emissions fix to be announced June 21 in the U.S. as Germany approves fix for its cars.

Volkswagen Emissions Fix Nears in U.S., Approved in Germany

Posted in News

— Volkswagen says it has made tremendous progress toward a final settlement agreement to be presented to U.S. officials June 21, 2016.

VW owners continue to wait for answers since the day they learned their vehicles are technically illegal concerning emissions standards in the U.S. Owners learned the automaker had been cheating on emissions tests for at least seven years on 600,000 diesel models in the U.S. and about 11 million worldwide.

The cars are illegally equipped with software that alters nitrogen oxide emissions while the cars are undergoing official tests. Called "defeat devices," the software then alters emissions controls when the cars are back on the roads, emitting up to 40 times legal levels of nitrogen oxides.

VW has a June 21 court date to give the judge, government and consumers final answers about how vehicle owners can finally be free of this mess.

The plans are for Volkswagen to use June 21 to provide exact details how the automaker will take care of just about everyone affected by the fraud.

Any settlement is expected to include a special fund created to encourage environmentally-friendly vehicle technology, buyback programs, offers to repair the cars, not to mention how VW will handle the numerous government charges.

Volkswagen has counties, states, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Federal Trade Commission (FTC), California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the Justice Department waiting for answers. Government fines and penalties could theoretically reach tens of billions of dollars, something that could cause VW to sell-off some of their assets.

U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer made clear that any settlement must include satisfactory compensation, including the potential for a buyback program so owners can unload the cars.

Volkswagen 3-Liter Cars

The automaker says it is making progress toward a resolution concerning 80,000 Audi, Porsche and VW 3-liter vehicles that emit up to nine times the legal levels of nitrogen oxides. The 3-liter models have the same type of illegal nitrogen oxide emissions, but caused by different problems compared to the 2-liter vehicles.

The 3-liter cars are equipped with three devices that were not included in official documents and one of those devices relates to the exhaust-gas cleaning system. This is the device the EPA says is considered a defeat device under federal guidelines.

Although the automaker says progress has been made with 3-liter problems, VW doesn't know when consumers can expect the cars to be fixed, or how they will be fixed. Volkswagen also hasn't hinted if 3-liter owners will be offered any type of buyback program similar to the program planned for 2-liter models.

The June 21 court deadline won't be the end of the subject as the public will have a period to comment on VW's plans before a final hearing is held.

Germany Approves VW Diesel Repairs

Volkswagen owners in the U.S. still await for VW to fix 600,000 cars that have emitted illegal nitrogen oxide emissions for the past seven years. Not so in Germany, as Germany's Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) gave Volkswagen the go-ahead to fix 800,000 vehicles.

German officials approved the technical fix for owners of the Volkswagen Passat, CC and Eos cars equipped with 2-liter diesel EA 189 engines.

Calling the fix a "retrofit," Volkswagen says the repairs will make the cars completely legal to drive and won't cause changes to the performance or fuel economy of the cars.

However, VW isn't out of the woods in Germany as German media report prosecutors are investigating if the automaker deleted data that could implicate the company in the emissions scandal.

German authorities believe VW employees spent at least a week deleting data before the automaker's legal department sent out directions to save all data in the event VW faced lawsuits.

German media could be wrong about this report, but the information matches what is known about a lawsuit filed by an ex-employee. The employee sued VW alleging he was fired for informing his superiors about other employees deleting data when it should have been saved.

Taiwan Charges Volkswagen With False Advertising

Officials in Taiwan say Volkswagen will be charged with false advertising concerning two models that emitted illegal emissions. The two vehicles, Caddy Maxi and A6 Avant, were advertised to Taiwanese consumers as meeting European emissions standards when in fact they did not.

The Fair Trade Commission says VW engaged in unfair competition and violated Article 38 of the Air Pollution Control Act.