VW's Giant Diesel Recall of Shame Begins in January

Illustration for article titled VWs Giant Diesel Recall of Shame Begins in January

VW is still in full damage-control mode over its cheating diesel cars, and slowly but surely, the pieces are falling into place: if everything goes to plan, the first cars in Europe will be recalled in January 2016, to be finished by the end of 2016. That’s a long time to use a rental.

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The details come courtesy of an interview with German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. The interview only concerns cars in Europe, so the half-million polluting diesels in the US are still a mystery. We don’t know when they’ll be recalled, or whether the fix will be a software patch, or an entirely new car.

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Thankfully, we do know that new VW boss Matthias Mueller thinks the problem is limited to a few employees, and that “this crisis gives us an opportunity to overhaul Volkswagen’s structures,” presumably starting with those that design software to evade emissions testing.

[Autonews via The Verge]

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DISCUSSION

“VW boss Matthias Mueller thinks the problem is limited to a few employees,”

Ahh yes, gotta love plausible deniability.

—also the entire recall takes a year, not the servicing of an individual car. ;)

Also.. per the WSJ

“[This will be] the biggest service action in the company’s history,” said Christian Buhlmann, Volkswagen’s spokesman for technical issues, although the company has yet to determine how many vehicles need refitting.

The refitting will involve a change of software and possible hardware changes, too, Mr. Buhlmann said. The software change can be performed quickly, and hardware changes will take “at most a few hours,” he said.

As part of servicing, the software that controls the engine has to be updated. Volkswagen expects that carbon dioxide emission and fuel consumption will rise as a result of the software switch, but only minimally, and still within environmental standards.

In some cases hardware changes will also be necessary. In vehicles with 1.2-liter and 1.6-liter engines, which aren’t sold in the U.S., a hardware change will likely be necessary because a fuel injection pump has to be replaced to ensure a smooth ride, Mr. Buhlmann said. In Europe, vehicles with 2-liter engines will only need a software update, but it isn’t clear whether that would suffice in the U.S. due to different standards.

All the measures have to be approved by authorities before they can be implemented.

“We’ll use October to present the planned technical solutions to the relevant authorities—the Motor Transport Authority in Germany, and the Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board in the U.S.,” he said.