Volkswagen gets approval for diesel cheat fix in Germany

VW says the cars will be fully compliant after repair, and performance won't be impacted.

Volkswagen has received approval from German authorities to go through with its plan to recall more than 800,000 diesel-powered vehicles in order to fix its so-called "cheat" software used. This is the code that reduces the cars' emissions - but only when they're being tested. Germany's Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) approved Volkswagen's proposed technical fixes for the Volkswagen Passat, CC and Eos models with 2.0 Liter TDI engines, VW said on June 3. The automaker said that the repair won't impact the cars' fuel economy or performance, which makes you wonder why it needed to use the cheat code in the first place.

The approval is a sign of progress amid the challenges.

The approval is a sign of progress amid the challenges VW is facing in its nine-month-old diesel emissions scandal, in which as many as 8.5 million vehicles use the software. VW says all of the 800,000 owners in Germany have received notice of the recall, and they all will receive a second letter instructing them to set up an appointment to have the vehicle repaired. The cars will "meet all legal requirements" after the retrofit, VW says.

Volkswagen continues to work with US regulators to reach a similar agreement here, but it has missed at least one deadline a US district judge set for the automaker to lay out its repair plan for as many as 580,000 vehicles. Meanwhile, at least three investor groups were calling for an independent investigation into the scandal, alleging that VW wasn't able to properly conduct one on its own. Volkswagen said in late April that it wouldn't release an interim report about the diesel investigation from law firm Jones Day but is likely shed some more details on the process during its annual general meeting on June 22. The company has set aside about $18 billion to deal with the repairs and other issues stemming from the scandal.
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Retrofit of Volkswagen Passat, CC and Eos begins
• KBA issues approval for the software solution for over 800,000 cars

Today, Germany's Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) approved the technical solutions for the Volkswagen Passat, CC and Eos models with 2.0l TDI EA 189 engines. Over 800,000 vehicles affected by the diesel issue are now to be recalled as soon as possible. The affected owners will receive letters from Volkswagen and can then arrange a service appointment with a Volkswagen partner workshop without delay.

This is a continuation of the retrofit campaign for affected vehicles started by Volkswagen early this year. Jürgen Stackmann, member of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand responsible for Sales, Marketing and After-Sales, said: "The launch of the retrofit campaign for the Passat, CC and Eos models involves a large number of cars that will now be recalled to the workshops. I am pleased that the retrofitting of over 800,000 of our customers' cars can now begin. Our dealerships and service partners are well prepared for the campaign."

German customers will be informed in two stages. In the first stage, all of the affected owners have already received a letter agreed with the KBA, which informed them that their car is covered by the retrofit campaign. Now they will receive a second letter, asking them to make an appointment with an authorised Volkswagen partner of their choice. In several stages, the owners of the affected Passat, CC and Eos models with 2.0l TDI engines with power outputs of 81 kW, 100 kW and 103 kW will also receive such a letter.

Following the retrofit, the cars will meet all legal requirements. The KBA has also confirmed unequivocally that the technical solutions for these models will not result in any changes to the fuel consumption, performance or noise emissions of the vehicles concerned. The KBA had previously confirmed this for all of the other vehicles for which the recall has been approved to date.
Volkswagen is working at full speed to implement the technical solutions and will rectify all vehicles affected by the NOx issue. This will be done in close coordination with the responsible authorities. Volkswagen customers will not incur any costs as a result of the technical measures. In addition, all customers will be offered a suitable replacement mobility option free of charge as part of the recall process. The launch of the recall campaign, which was initially planned for the second quarter of 2016 for affected cars with 1.2l TDI EA189 engines, will be delayed: Volkswagen expects to receive approval for the technical solutions for other high-volume models with the affected 2.0l TDI engines in the near future.

The vehicles affected are technically safe and roadworthy. They can be driven on roads without any limitations until the modifications are implemented. The implementation of the necessary technical measures is being carried out throughout Europe in accordance with a timetable and action plan coordinated with the KBA.

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