"I wouldn't take any single signal as the direction of those negotiations or where any final agreement – if we reach one – will end up," McCarthy told reporters during a breakfast sponsored by The Christian Science Monitor. According to Automotive News, McCarthy wouldn't say whether the EPA would accept a partial fix from the German company – remember, there's more than one engine affected by the recall scandal – or if it'd insist that VW buy back all 580,000 vehicles.
If Volkswagen can't deliver a resolution by April 21, it'd mark the second time the embattled German automaker failed to meet an EPA deadline. The company missed the original March 24 deadline slated by US District Judge Charles Breyer in late February.
McCarthy's statements are no guarantee that Volkswagen will miss its April 21 deadline, of course – the company still have over two weeks to come up with something. But when a figure as high up the food chain as McCarthy expresses doubt, it's worth paying attention to.