As we talked about on the Car Pro Show last Saturday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved a fix for polluting Volkswagen 2.0-liter diesel vehicles in action last Friday. The approval affects about 70,000 VW diesels involved in the VW diesel emission scandal.
The German automaker has already agreed to buy back up to 475,000 polluting 2009-2015 vehicles at a cost of over $10 billion dollars, or fix them if the EPA approved.
Vehicles covered so far by the approved fix are the: 2015 diesel Volkswagen Beetle, Golf, Golf SportWagen, Jetta, Passat and 2015 diesel Audi A3.
The approved fix involves an initial software change available that’s available now for those who do not want their cars repurchased. A second phase of alterations will start about a year from now when VW will install more software updates and new hardware, including a diesel particulate filter, diesel oxidation catalyst and NOx catalyst.
VW is still waiting for approval for fixes for about 400,000 remaining 2.0-liter vehicles.
“With today’s approval, VW can offer vehicle owners the choice to keep and fix their car, or to have it bought back,” the EPA said in a statement, adding that test data demonstrated the fix would “not affect vehicle fuel economy, reliability, or durability.”
I have to be honest here, I cannot fathom that a diesel particulate filter, diesel oxidation catalyst and NOx catalyst will not affect fuel economy or performance of the TDI VWs. I can, however, see where it would not hinder reliability or durability.
I still get asked a lot about what to do if you own one of these VW cars. My advice is still to wait. TDI owners have until September of 2018 to declare whether they want their car bought back or fixed. Personally, I would want to see confirmation that the fix will not hurt the fuel economy before deciding. As tempting as the amount of the buy back is, at this time, there is just nothing to replace it with.