Engineers at Volkswagen have proposed fitting a catalytic converter to more than 400,000 cars in the U.S. to comply with emissions, the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag reported.
The costly and lengthy fix could bring into compliance cars that Volkswagen admitted cheated diesel emissions tests through an illegal “defeat device” that reduced nitrogen oxides by up to 40 times during test cycles.
Officials at Volkswagen didn’t comment on the report.
Volkswagen and officials from the Environmental Protection Agency have struggled to agree on how to fix more than 500,000 illegally polluting cars in the U.S. As we reported here last week, the Justice Department on behalf of the EPA sued Volkswagen for the cars, seeking up to $48 billion in damages and penalties. In announcing the lawsuit, EPA deputy Cynthia Giles said Volkswagen had not “produced an acceptable way forward” with its proposals to fix its cars.
German newspapers have reported that Volkswagen may be preparing to buy back more than 100,000 cars in the U.S. if they couldn’t be repaired.
According to the Bild am Sonntag report, the catalytic converters would only be fitted to cars equipped with Volkswagen’s EA 189 engine. In testimony to Congress, Volkswagen of America CEO Michael Horn told officials that newer cars would only need a software update to bring those cars into compliance with the law.