The fixes will apply to 1.2 liter, 1.6 liter, and 2.0 liter diesel engines. The 1.2 and 2.0 liter engines will only require a software update that Volkswagen group says should take “under half an hour.” The 1.6 liter engine vehicles require a software update as well as a “flow rectifier” that mechanics will fit in front of the air mass sensor. Volkswagen estimates that labor for that job will take “under an hour.”
Volkswagen says it will send out letters to customers in the European Union as soon as the German Federal Motor Transport Authority gets the company the appropriate addresses. Volkswagen Group says it estimates repairs will start in January 2016.
“These measures apply to Europe (EU-28 markets),” Volkswagen Group wrote in a press release. “After the measures have been implemented, the vehicles will fulfill the duly applicable emissions standards, with the aim of achieving this without any impairment of engine output, fuel consumption, or performance.”
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) broke the news about the defeat devices on diesel Volkswagens and Audis in September, setting off a global crisis for the German automaker. It was later discovered that 11 million cars worldwide likely had ways of spoofing emissions-control systems while the cars are being driven normally (i.e., not in a lab for emissions regulators). Further investigations have turned up illegal defeat devices on certain diesel Porsches, as well as 36,000 vehicles in Europe that emit significantly more CO2 than the car maker originally reported to regulators.
In a press conference this month, Volkswagen executives said that the cheating scandal was caused by individuals encouraged by a company culture “that tolerated breaches of the rules.” The executives also addressed the proposed fix for European cars that was approved today, noting that a fix for US cars would take time “due to the much tighter NOx levels on the other side of the Atlantic,” said Volkswagen Group CEO Matthias Müller. “Retrofitting the vehicles there to meet valid emissions limits is quite simply a much bigger technical challenge.”