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Volkswagen submits recall plan for 2-liter diesel cars to California Air Resources Board; ARB to respond

The Volkswagen Group of America (VW) submitted a recall plan to the California Air Resources Board (ARB) on Friday, responding to the violations described in ARB’s 18 September 2015 letter to VW concerning illegal defeat devices in 2-liter diesel-powered vehicles, model years 2009-2015. (Earlier post.)

The submission of the plan triggers a review by ARB of up to 20 business days of all elements of the plan. Based on ARB’s review, VW may be required to revise and resubmit all, or specific elements of the recall plan. ARB will also consult with US EPA during this process to develop a national recall plan.

Required elements of a recall plan include, but are not limited to, the projected timeline of the full recall process from initiation to completion (including how owners are located); the content of a company’s communications with them about the recall; and a plan for following up on the progress of the recall campaign. The recall plan must set out the projected time to fix each vehicle.

The remedy proposed in the recall must not only fix the violation in question, it must also address the safety, drivability, vehicle durability and fuel efficiency of the cars involved.

The required elements for an approvable recall plan are detailed in the California Code of Regulations (13 CCR 2113-2121 and 40 CFR §85.1803) and include but are not limited to:

  1. The description of the vehicles and affected California and US population.

  2. Description of the nonconformity and the specific recalibration and hardware corrective actions to return the vehicles to the certified configuration (i.e., no defeat device and emission compliant).

  3. A description of the method by which the manufacturer will determine the names and addresses of vehicle owners and the method for notifying the service facilities and vehicle owners of the recall.

  4. A description of the procedure to be followed by the vehicle owner to obtain correction. This shall include the date on or after which the owner can have the nonconformity remedied, the time reasonably necessary to perform the labor, and the designation of the facilities that can perform the work.

  5. A copy of the owner’s notification letter.

  6. A description of the system by which the manufacturer will assure adequate supply of parts.

  7. A copy of all instructions that will be sent to those performing the repair.

  8. A description of the impact of the proposed repairs or adjustments on fuel economy, drivability, performance and safety of each vehicle recalled and a brief summary of the data, technical studies, or engineering evaluations which support the data.

  9. The estimate of the capture rate from the proposed recall and registration tracking of repaired and unrepaired Vehicle Identification Numbers at the DMV.

  10. A description of the impact of the proposed changes on the average emissions from the vehicle to be recalled. The description shall include:

    1. Average noncompliance emission levels
    2. Average emission reduction per pollutant from the recall repair
    3. An estimate of the average emission level per pollutant for the vehicle adjusted for the capture rate
  11. A repair label shall be affixed to each vehicle that is corrected per the approved recall plan (13 CCR 2116).

  12. A description of the impact of the proposed changes on the On Board Diagnostic (OBD) system performance on the vehicle to be recalled. The description shall include:

    1. OBD demonstration testing for all major monitors
    2. Identification and disclosure of all OBD monitoring requirements that are not met in the recall calibration
  13. The manufacturer shall require those who perform the repair to provide the owner for each vehicle or engine with a certificate indicating that a noncomplying vehicle or engine has been corrected under the recall program (13 CCR 2117).

  14. The manufacturer shall report on the progress of the recall campaign by submitting subsequent reports for six consecutive quarters commencing with the quarter after the recall campaign begins. Such reports shall be submitted no later than 25 days after the close of each calendar quarter (13 CCR 2119).



Crush 'em?...sorry just kidding!

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