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US EPA, CARB approve emission modifications for some VW 2.0 L diesel vehicles

9 January 2017

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (ARB) announced the approval of an emission modification for a limited number of the Volkswagen 2.0 liter diesel vehicles equipped with cycle beating software or so-called defeat device. The vehicles eligible for this modification are referred to as “Generation 3” vehicles.

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

The approved modification requires both software and hardware replacement, and will take place in two phases. In the first phase—available to customers now—VW will replace the “defeat device” software. The second phase—expected to start about a year from now—includes a new diesel particulate filter, diesel oxidation catalyst, SCR catalyst, as well as installation of a second NOx sensor and corresponding software to improve the performance of the OBD system.

Under the 2.0 L engine settlement, once an emission modification is approved, Volkswagen can offer vehicle owners the choice to fix their car or to have it bought back. Volkswagen is supposed to notify owners of vehicles eligible for the modification within 10 days of the EPA/ARB announcement.

For Volkswagen, the approval also opens the door to the possibility of exporting emission-modified vehicles from the United States and selling them in other markets. Under the consent decree, VW is allowed to export the used vehicles it buys back from customers only if the vehicles receive an applicable, approved emission modification.

The EPA and the ARB divided the emission technology in the affected 2.0 L engine vehicles into three generations. VW Generation 1 vehicles used NOx adsorbers (lean NOx traps) for NOx control. Generation 2 and 3 vehicles both utilized urea-SCR technology for NOx reduction, but the model year 2015 Generation 3 was equipped with an improved version of the SCR system.

Source: US EPA | California ARB