Volkswagen, the world’s second largest automaker, has finally submitted a plan to fix the approximately 80,000 diesel SUVs and larger cars that have exceeded the pollution emission levels set in California. Volkswagen submitted its proposal, which has been a subject of speculation among industry watchers, just in time to meet the February 2, 2016 deadline according to The California Air Resources Board and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in a statement.
This is viewed as a fresh start for the European based automaker after four months of seemingly fruitless negotiations with US and California regulators. Even if the plan is still under review, VW is hopeful that it will be acceptable with the EPA and ARB.
Substantial changes are expected to have been made to the original proposal submitted by VW last month which was rejected by California after calling it “substantially deficient.” If the plan is accepted, the Group can start mending its damaged reputation stemming from the emission scandal.
With the approval of VW’s proposal, the next move by the German auto manufacturer is to secure another approval to resume its sales of diesel vehicles again. Last November, reports came out about the controversy surrounding VW and its use of sophisticated software which allowed its Audi, Porsche and VW diesel units to pass emission tests despite the high pollution produced by their diesel engines.
Previously, EPA has likewise made disclosures of emission cheating in 482,000 VW cars with 2.0 l engines emitting up to 40 times the pollution limit. America Audi spokesman Mark Clothier said in an interview that the VW group is coordinating with US regulators to make the V6 3.0 liter diesel engines fully compliant with existing guidelines.
EPA spokeswoman Laura Allen also confirms that the agency did receive VW’s proposal but that they are separately reviewing the plan. Similarly, Air Resources Board (ARB) is still reviewing the proposal.
This recent development must have brought a collective sigh of relief from beleaguered VW executives who were under pressure due to the scandal which has ultimately led to the resignation of ex CEO Martin Winterkon.
The announcement followed another positive development for the company wherein VW won the approval to fix 8.5 million vehicles in Europe. VW estimates the total number of vehicles affected by the emission problem to be 11 million vehicles worldwide.