The California Air Resources Board will wait until Jan. 14, 2016, to make a decision whether to accept Volkswagen's proposed recall plan for the automaker's emissions-cheating 2.0-liter diesel engine. The three-week extension came in part because the company continued to submit "significant information and data" about the repair effort, according to a letter from CARB to VW Group of America.

VW gave CARB additional written details about the repair on Dec. 14 and verbally on Dec. 16. The regulator will now review the automaker's solution to ensure it will solve the emissions issue. According to Reuters, newer models will likely only require a software update to fix the problem, but older vehicles might also need some new hardware to become compliant.

German regulators already accepted VW's repair plans. Most engines there only need a software update, but the 1.6 TDI will also require dealers to install a piece of mesh ahead of air mass sensor to improve its accuracy. However, the more stringent nitrogen oxide emissions standards in the US mean VW needs to create different fixes here.

The VW diesel scandal became public on Sept. 18 when CARB and the Environmental Protection Agency released the violation notice for the defeat device on 482,000 diesel engines in the US. The automaker's representatives then met with the regulators on Nov. 20 to discuss a potential recall plan. So far, there's no clear timeline when repairs could begin in the US.

CARB's extension only affects the repair for the 2.0 TDI. VW Group still needs to submit a separate plan to the regulator to make the 3.0-liter TDI V6 emissions compliant. According to Reuters, the deadline for the six-cylinder recall strategy is in early February.

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UPDATE: CARB sends VW letter on proposed recall plan

CARB to act on or before January 14, 2016

SACRAMENTO - As the result of submissions by VW over the past week, CARB sent VW America a letter indicating that it would act on the proposed recall plan on or before January 14, 2016.

The letter follows below, and can be found at:

December 18, 2015

David Geanacopoulos
Executive Vice President Public Affairs and General Counsel
Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.
2200 Ferdinand Porsche Drive
Herndon, Virginia 20171

Subject: Volkswagen 2.0 L Recall Plan Submission

Dear Mr. Geanacopoulos:

As a result of Volkswagen Group of America's (VW) continued submission of additional significant information and data to the California Air Resources Board (CARB) as part of VW's proposed 2.0L influenced emission recall plan (Title 13, Cal. Code Regs. § 2113) --- including information VW submitted in writing on December 14, 2015, and verbally as recently as December 16, 2015 --- CARB plans to act on your proposed 2.0L influenced emission recall plan on or before January 14, 2016.

Mr. Stuart Johnson, on behalf of VW, discussed this issue with me earlier this week. Please confirm in writing to me, no later than noon Pacific Time, Monday, December 21, 2015, that VW has no objection to CARB's planned response date of on or before January 14, 2016.

As you know, VW submitted a December 15, 2015, request for an extension to submit VW's supplemental, proposed 2.0L influenced emission recall plan to CARB. CARB will also respond to this extension request on or before January 14, 2016.

If you have any questions, I can be reached at (626) 450-6150.


Annette Hebert, Chief
Emissions Compliance, Automotive Regulations, and Science Division

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