A settlement between US regulators and Volkswagen will have the automobile manufacturer buying back approximately 20,000 VW, Audi and Porsche 3.0-liter diesel vehicles. The scandal began last year when Volkswagen was caught fitting their vehicles with software used to fool emissions tests. The U.S. Department of Justice reached an agreement with VW for 475,000 2.0-liter diesel cars, giving owners the option to choose a buyback for the full trade in price and reimbursing owners $5,100 to $10,000 each, depending on the age of the car and if they owned it prior to Sept. 18 of last year.

This recent settlement concerns the remaining 80,000, 2009-2016 VW, Audi and Porsche 3.0-liter diesel vehicles. According to U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer, the settlement will include a buyback option for approximately 20,000 owners and a substantial compensation on top of any repairs or a buyback. Volkswagen said they believe they can modify the other 60,000 vehicles into compliance with pollution regulations and will not offer a buyback if they can.

In total, Volkswagen will spend up to $10 billion compensating consumers. This includes $2.7 billion for environmental mitigation and $2 billion to promote zero-emissions vehicles. In a separate court filing, Volkswagen has agreed to add at least three additional electric vehicles in California by 2020 and must sell an average of 5,000 electric vehicles annually through 2025. Volkswagen also agreed to pay California’s state air board compensation for $25 million.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Volkswagen are continuing talks on how to repair VW, Audi, and Porsche 3.0L diesel engines for cheating on emissions tests, after California regulators reject VW’s most recent recall proposal. In a letter to Volkswagen, CARB listed the failures of the proposed solution, saying that the company failed to provide a full description of the defeat devices, the impact the fix would have on vehicle performance and emissions, or even a description of the fix that would allow CARB to evaluate its feasibility.

The announcement is a setback for the automaker who believed that the 3.0-liter TDI models sold by Porsche, Audi and Volkswagen would only require a software update. If the manufacturer is unable to come up with a satisfactory fix, they could be forced into buying back almost 85,000 vehicles. VW also continues to face lawsuits by investors and dealerships in the U.S., as well as from consumer in Germany.

California Air Resource Board (CARB) regulators have rejected Volkswagen’s recall proposal for repairs to its emissions cheating diesel vehicles saying it lacks sufficient detail and does not adequately address the overall impacts on vehicle performance, emissions and safety. According to CARB, the recall plan

  • needs to identify which vehicles are affected.
  • must include a sufficient method of obtaining the car owners’ names and address.
  • does not include adequate information on how the fix would affect future emissions results.

The rejection concerns VW’s 2.0L diesel engines with a proposal for the 3.0L engines due in February. In a statement, VW said it will continue to work with both state and federal regulators and the rejection of its recall plan does not mean a recall will not be issued.

Volkswagen announced today, that owners of vehicles equipped with software used to pass emissions tests could receive up to $1,000 in prepaid Visa cards and dealership credits, as well as free roadside assistance for three years. The offer is an attempt to regain customer trust as the company faces lawsuits from owners who want compensation for the loss in resale value of their vehicles. Some of the cases already filed say they want VW to buy back the vehicles for the full price they originally paid. Continue reading

As U.S. Volkswagen owners wait for a recall to see how the automobile manufacturer will repair vehicles rigged with software that allows them to pass federal emissions tests, some question whether they will have repairs done at all. According to the head of Volkswagen, the fix could result in vehicles experiencing lower top speeds and higher fuel consumption than listed on the window sticker. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) records show the average completion rate for auto recalls in the United States is only around 75% over 18 months, and if the emissions fix results in decreased fuel economy and performance, owners will be even more reluctant to take their vehicle in.

For now, thousands of 2016 VW diesel models are stranded at ports around the nation until the EPA can certify their emissions control systems. In California, the Air Resource Board (CARB) said they will be carrying out emissions tests on diesel cars made by other manufacturers and have set a deadline of November 20th for Volkswagen to submit a recall remedy for approval. According to CARB, if there is not enough owner response to get repairs done, the option of not issuing vehicle registration until the recall has been carried out could be implemented.

As Volkswagen admits to fitting its diesel vehicles with software that allows them to pass emissions tests, over 230 federal class action lawsuits have been filed against the automobile manufacturer. The California Air Resources Board and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) revealed the problem last month and the first lawsuit was filed hours later in a San Francisco court.

The lawsuit accuses the company of misleading customers by selling automobiles that are supposedly environmentally friendly but were actually emitting as much as 40 times the legally allowed amount of nitrogen oxide. Legal experts expect the cases to be consolidated before a single judge and Volkswagen could face possible criminal charges and a federal probe. The company faces potential criminal, civil, and regulatory enforcement in other countries as well. Continue reading

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have accused automaker Volkswagen of installing software on certain Volkswagen and Audi diesel vehicles, which allowed them to detect when they were being tested and activate pollution controls to pass emissions tests. According to reports, the “defeat devices” allowed models to release up to 40 times more than the allowed amounts of harmful fumes in order to improve driving performance. The vehicles affected include the 2009-2015 VW Jetta, 2009-2015 VW Beetle, 2009-2015 VW Golf, 2014-2015 VW Passat, as well as the 2009-2015 Audi A3.

Volkswagen have announced plans to refit up to 11 million vehicles but did not say what the fix will be or how it could affect mileage and efficiency. As a result of the scandal, California’s Air Resources Board is now looking into other manufacturers’ testing results to see if other automobile manufacturers have been cheating on emission tests.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be unveiling new regulations on Monday, that will force oil refineries to remove sulfur from all gasoline sold in the United States. The new rule will require oil refiners to install new equipment to remove the sulfur and will force automobile manufacturers to install new, cleaner burning engine technology. EPA officials say that removing the smog forming pollutant will reduce the rates of diseases associated with those pollutants and will only slightly raise the price of gasoline and cars. They estimate that the new regulation will raise the cost of gasoline by about two-thirds of 1 cent per gallon and add approximately $75 to the sticker price of cars. Continue reading