Yesterday, we reported that Volkswagen and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) are testing a fix for VW's emissions-cheating 2.0-liter diesel cars, which seems like good news for owners of the cars affected. Unfortunately, that fix only applies to Generation 3 TDI vehicles built in the 2015 model year-as it turns out, a fix for older TDI cars is still months away.
A representative for the EPA confirmed to Car and Driver that VW submitted a fix for model-year 2015 2.0-liter TDIs in time for a July 29 deadline, thus beginning a 45-day testing period for final approval from CARB and the EPA. The expected submission date for a proposed fix on the Generation 1 cars is November 11, while the Generation 2 deadline is December 16, Car and Driver reports.
Cars with the Generation 1 TDI engine–including the 2009-2014 VW Jetta, 2010-2014 VW Golf, 2010-2014 Audi A3, and the 2012-2014 VW Beetle–will require the most involved fix, due to their lack of a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system. The only car sold in the U.S. with the Generation 2 engine, the 2012-2014 VW Passat TDI, should be easier to fix, since it has an SCR system-albeit of a simpler design than on Generation 3 engines.
With those later submission dates and subsequent 45-day test period, it looks like a large portion of U.S. VW owners affected by this scandal won't see a fix for their cars until 2017 at the earliest. Owners, however, will be able to opt for a buyback before a fix is approved by CARB and the EPA.
While it's good that a fix for VW's newest affected cars is finally in sight, it's unfortunate that the customers who've lived with cheating cars the longest will end up waiting even longer before they're made to comply with environmental regulations. Of course, this could all be moot if those customers opt to have their cars bought back by VW, but surely there are owners that'd just like to keep their cars, and have them comply.