Emissions Fix May Be Impossible for VW’s Fraudulent Diesels
There may be no way for Volkswagen to bring its 600,000 diesel vehicles in the United States into compliance with California pollution standards, after selling the cars on misleadingly low exhaust emission claims, the state’s clean air agency says.
The scandal that broke after Volkswagen admitted that millions of its vehicles world-wide had been engineered to fool emissions-testing equipment has so far led to the resignations of both its global and North American CEOs. It now appears the damage to vehicle fleet emissions may be irreparable, the Sacramento Bee reports.
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“Our goal has been to fix the vehicles and return them to their certified configuration as expeditiously as possible.” Todd Sax, the California Air Resources Board’s chief of enforcement told a legislative committee. “Unfortunately, this may not be possible.” The difficulty, board staff explained, is the complexity of the engineering in the cars’ emissions systems.
The assessment applies to some 80,000 Volkswagens, Audis, and Porsches sold in California since 2009. The California board is “contemplating compromise solutions,” the Bee’s Dale Kasler reports, “under which motorists could sell their vehicles back to Volkswagen—or drive cars that don’t meet the state’s air pollution standards.”
For its part, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has suggested Volkswagen make amends for the emissions scandal by manufacturing electric cars in the United States.