CA Rejects VW’s Proposed TDI Fix

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More bad news for VW….

FRANKFURT  – Volkswagen Group CEO Matthias Mueller faces a crucial meeting today with U.S. regulators to discuss ways out of its emissions-cheating crisis, a day after the California Air Resources Board rejected its initial proposed diesel engine fix.

California spurned the automaker’s December recommendation for how to fix 2.0-liter diesel engines as “incomplete.”

VW said it will present a reworked plan to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at the meeting in Washington. Mueller is scheduled to meet with EPA chief Gina McCarthy and members of Congress this morning.

VW is in the midst of complex technical talks with the California board and counterparts at the EPA about how to repair about 480,000 diesel cars. The EPA said Tuesday it agreed that VW’s plan can’t be approved.

“The message from the regulators to VW couldn’t be clearer — you need to come up with a better plan,” said Frank O’Donnell, president of Clean Air Watch, a Washington environmental group. “VW has mistakenly thought it could resolve this on the cheap.”

On its website, California said it determined that there was “no easy and expeditious fix for the affected vehicles.”

“Volkswagen made a decision to cheat on emissions tests and then tried to cover it up,” Mary Nichols, chairwoman of the state board, said in an emailed statement. “They need to make it right.”

Diesel data

Volkswagen responded that it had asked California last month for an extension to submit additional information and data about the turbocharged direct injection, or TDI, diesel engines.

“Since then, Volkswagen has had constructive discussions with CARB, including last week when we discussed a framework to remediate the TDI emissions issue,” VW said in an emailed statement.

The California board said it and the EPA will continue to evaluate VW’s technical proposals.

The rejection closely followed a bumble by Mueller on Sunday, before the Detroit auto show. During an interview with National Public Radio, the CEO appeared to dismiss the crisis by saying VW “didn’t lie” to regulators about what amounts to a “technical problem.”

When the interview aired Monday morning, VW asked NPR for a do-over, where Mueller blamed a noisy atmosphere for his earlier comments. He apologized on behalf of the automaker, hewing more closely to comments he had made in a Detroit speech on Sunday night.

On Monday evening, Mueller had dinner with U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn. VW has a manufacturing plant in Chattanooga, which is undergoing a major expansion. Corker said VW views the meeting with EPA as “very important.”

“They understand fully the order of magnitude of mistakes that have been made and my sense is they are very committed to resolving this in an appropriate way,” Corker said in an interview Tuesday, before the California board announced it had rejected VW’s recall plan.


  1. Not sure if this is relevant to the overall story, but it seems logical:

    ADDENDUM: A reader has informed us of an additional motive for the attack on VW. Credit to Jim Stone:

    “1. Volkswagen produced the world’s most fuel efficient cars, and when the XL1 hit production, represented a huge threat to the climate change scam. Think about it – if all of a sudden fuel economy increased even 5x, (rather than the 10X the XL1 did) it would destroy the entire notion of us destroying the planet by driving.

    Consider this: The biggest threat the climate hoaxers claim is CO2. Volkswagen cut that in half with the TDI, in part by breaking the emission system rules that would make it impossible to do if followed. Volkswagen proved the emission standards and systems are a scam that is feeding the climate change hoax. How would a powerful elite climate hoaxer respond to being exposed?

    2. They were about to release an electric car, at full production levels, that would destroy the Tesla with a cheaper price, better range, and lower operating cost. Additionally, they evidently had a way to do a 15 minute full charge and an infrastructure plan to deliver it. That would cost what? $15 – 20 billion to do, approximately the amount of that fine? BINGO: Volkswagen was about to invest $22 billion Euros into electric car manufacturing in China! That’s way too close to the amount of that fine! DING DING DING!” []

    Now all the news reports are saying how much the scandal benefited the electric car future, but if Volkswagen gets bashed into oblivion the moment they were about to bring it forward, what does that really say? MORE CO2 FOR EVERYONE, CARBON TAX PLEASE!


    More and more, I believe I’m the sane one.
    Per the image I left for Tor re: Malkavians…. 😉

  2. I don’t think there will be any “fix” that will satisfy CA regulators. My guess, they are pissed that VW got away with it for all those years, and the pound of flesh they want, is those cars off the road completely. And they aren’t to be shipped out of country either, they will want them destroyed cash for clunkers style………

    You know how it goes when you cross a government drone, they fixate on it forever, since they really haven’t got anything worth while to do.

    Eric, why do you think VW came clean (sorry bad pun) when they were caught? They went though all the trouble to cheat, and then got away with it so long. Why didn’t they just stay the course, just deny deny deny. They could have then tried to cast themselves the victims of regulator and green group persecution. The cars passed all the tests required of them before, they could say, its not our fault etc.

    Its not like they will be easier on VW for coming clean. At that point what would they have lost by fighting it?

    This stupidity has already cost people jobs. The VW dealer in town was going to add Audi to his shop. Since the scandal broke, all talk of that stopped cold. That dealer probably didn’t think he was gambling so badly by completely rebuilding his building for millions just completed about 6 month before the SHTF.

    • “You know how it goes when you cross a government drone, they fixate on it forever, since they really haven’t got anything worth while to do. ”

      True, that. Government service attracts the least competent people imaginable. I suspect that if any of those weenies actually had anything worthwhile to do, they wouldn’t be able to do it.

      The VW dealer a mile or so from a tire store whose installers couldn’t remove the locking lug bolts on my daughter’s Passat really surprised me. She called and asked me what to do about her lost lug key and I sent her there after a websearch for the nearest VW dealership. I told her to go to their parts department to buy the key.

      She called me back to tell me that the parts guy there had told her that there was no need to buy the $40 key if she didn’t want to keep the locks. He went outside with a key, removed all 4 locking bolts and replaced them with new lug bolts for $24. I was amazed, since I expected the VW dealership would simply sell her the key. He kind of dissuaded me from my habit of calling dealerships “stealerships”, at least in the case of Brown VW of Midlothian.

      Anyway, she loves her old Passat and I think I’ll advise her to use that dealership for service on her car.


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