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EPA and CARB approve emissions modification for Gen 3 VW 2.0 liter diesel vehicles

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board (CARB) approveda remedy proposed by Volkswagen that will reduce the excess NOx emissions from the Generation 3 (MY 2015) diesel 2.0 liter vehicles. With the approval, VW can offer vehicle owners the choice to keep and fix their car, or to have it bought back.

This modification will reduce excess emissions from the affected vehicles by 80-90%. The test data and technical information VW submitted to EPA and CARB demonstrated that the emissions modification being approved will not affect vehicle fuel economy, reliability, or durability. EPA and CARB confirmed those conclusions through independent testing and analysis at their own laboratories.

The approved modification requires both software and hardware replacement, and will take place in two phases. The first phase involves a software change that is available to customers now. The second phase involves further software changes as well as hardware changes that are not yet available.

In the first phase, VW will remove the defeat device software and replace it with software that directs the emission controls to function effectively in all typical vehicle operation.

The second phase will start about a year from now when VW will install more software updates as well as a new diesel particulate filter, diesel oxidation catalyst, and NOx catalyst, all needed to maintain vehicle reliability and emissions performance over time.

The Generation 3 vehicle models covered by the approved emissions remedy are the model year 2015 diesel Volkswagen Beetle, Beetle Convertible, Golf, Golf SportWagen, Jetta, and Passat, and the model year 2015 diesel Audi A3.

On 25 October 2016, the Court entered a $14.7-billion partial settlement with Volkswagen to resolve alleged Clean Air Act violations from the sale of 2.0 liter diesel vehicles that were equipped with software designed to cheat on federal emissions tests. The settlement allows VW to propose remedies and to seek EPA and CARB approval for these technical remedies to address the pollution violations.


James McLaughlin

Well that is a pleasant surprise. Interesting that the current hardware is able to meet emissions limits for a year with corrected software. I am not sure but I think the current configuration uses a NOx adsorber (also known as LNA). It is not clear from the report whether they will need to change to an SCR but that is my guess. I don't think VW is the only OEM that used LNA, perhaps others will follow and retrofit SCRs. But California might be the only regulatory authority that will require such a retrofit.

Brian P

James, the vehicles in question, which are all model year 2015, came originally equipped with SCR - not a LNT.

The earlier-generation models that used LNT (without SCR) are still in limbo, but the proposed solution (yet to be approved) involved a different LNT, not a SCR retrofit.

VW was the only auto manufacturer to attempt to use LNT on its own in the North American market. Some BMW models use LNT in conjunction with SCR. Quite a few manufacturers have used LNT elsewhere in the world.

California will NOT be withholding registration of the vehicles in question if owners choose to do nothing. That's what the huge compensation payment to the government by VW was for. Any state that took part of that compensation money is required to allow the cars to continue to be registered unmodified if users choose not to have them modified, and California was one of those (there are 5 states that did not but I don't know which they are - Calif is not one of them).

Harvey P


VW is not the only one to use LNT as the sole NOx aftertreatment on a recent vehicle. Dodge had a LNT as the only NOx aftertreatment on the 2007 Dodge Ram diesel pickup truck.

See http://www.greencarcongress.com/2007/01/daimlerchrysler_2.html

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