Volkswagen is trying to avoid buying back as many as 475,000 diesel cars.
Reuters reports that Volkswagen and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) plans to test hardware and software that could help the German automaker avoid buying back nearly half-a-million vehicles in the U.S. According to Air Resources Board Chair Mary Nichols, the agency is working with Volkswagen to test potential fixes that would apply to three generations of cars equipped with 2.0-liter diesel engines and defeat devices that were used to cheat on diesel emissions tests in the U.S.
Nichols added that Volkswagen is making strides in its effort to regain credibility with regulators: “They brought in a whole new team of people to work on various aspects of this,” she told Reuters in an interview. “There’s just a greater sense that we’re dealing with people who have access to the decision makers in Germany, and who understand their credibility is on the line.”
Earlier this year, CARB rejected a Volkswagen proposal to repair the cheating diesel emissions systems, saying that it fell “far short of meeting the legal requirements.” The automaker confirmed it is continuing to work with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and CARB to develop approved emissions modifications as quickly as possible.
Under a recent $14.7-billion settlement with state and federal regulators, Volkswagen agreed to offer to buy back the cheating diesel cars it sold in the U.S. between 2009-2016. However, if the automaker is able to find a fix that satisfies regulators, it could offer owners the choice of repairing their vehicles rather than buying them back, potentially reducing the cost of the settlement.
Currently there has been no progress on developing a repair for the 3.0-liter V6 diesel engine that is used across various Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche models. Approximately 85,000 vehicles equipped with that engine are in the U.S.
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