The affected diesel vehicles include the Volkswagen Golf, Passat, Beetle, Jetta and Audi A3 models equipped with the 2.0-liter diesel engine.
Volkswagen Golf, Passat, Beetle, Jetta and Audi A3 models affected
In the wake of the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal, news of which broke late last week, Volkswagen has announced that it will stop selling cars equipped with the kind of diesel engines implicated in the EPA’s announcement, Automotive News reports.
Two-liter, four-cylinder diesel engines were cited by the federal agency as possessing “defeat devices” which allowed cars to emit less pollutants while undergoing emissions testing — essentially software that would turn all emissions control systems on just for the emissions sensors, but would otherwise remain off while the car was being driven. With the pertinent emissions control systems disabled, the EPA estimates that the cars were emitting as much as 40 times the pollution allowed by the Clean Air Act.
In addition to the stop-sale order, the company plans to recall some 482,000 affected “clean diesel” vehicles. They include:
— Volkswagen Golf (2009-2015 model years)
— Volkswagen Jetta (2009-2015 model years)
— Volkswagen Beetle (2009-2015 model years)
— Volkswagen Passat (2014-2015 model years)
— Audi A3 (2009-2015 model years)
In addition, the EPA reportedly plans to withhold certification from 2016 model-year TDI models in the U.S. equipped with the same 2.0-liter diesel engine. Diesel models account for almost a quarter of all cars currently offered at the automaker’s dealerships in the U.S., though the number of unsold 2015 model-year cars on dealer lots is not expected to be great — it is the stop-sale order on 2016 model year cars that is likely to cause headaches for dealers.
The recall is not expected to include other types of diesels marketed by Volkswagen in the present or in the past in the U.S., which include the Touareg TDI, powered by a 3.0-liter turbocharged diesel V6.
Volkswagen has not yet announced a recall schedule for the vehicles and has not yet started notifying owners by mail advising them to visit the dealership, which is the usual procedure for vehicle recalls. Additionally, the company has not yet revealed how it plans to address this issue, though some analysts have noted that it may be as simple as modifying the software to make sure that the emissions control systems are operating 100 percent of the time. The recall is expected to take place over the course of next year.
Volkswagen, for its part, has ordered an external investigation into the matter, which may see the company fined as much as $37,000 per vehicle sold per EPA rules — that amounts to approximately $18 billion given the number of TDI Clean Diesel vehicles that have been sold so far.
“I personally am deeply sorry that we have broken the trust of our customers and the public,” VW CEO Martin Winterkorn said in a statement. “Volkswagen has ordered an external investigation of this matter. We will do everything necessary in order to reverse the damage this has caused.”