Volkswagen Tries to Quick-Fix the 3.0-liter Diesel, Gets Shut Down by CARB and EPA
Volkswagen did a number on itself as a company when it decided to create the biggest net of lies in automotive history. After a $14.7-billion settlement and who knows how many corporate changes, Volkswagen is now in the process of cleaning up this ridiculous mess it made. One of the problems it’s in the process of trying to solve is how to fix the 85,000 Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche models in the U.S. that are equipped with the 3.0-liter diesel. It’s a small number compared to the near-half million other diesel vehicles affected by this scandal, but this specific engine is getting a lot of attention as VW tries to get out of fixing the models as cheaply as possible.
In fact, Volkswagen has just supplied a proposed fix for the 3.0-liter. The statement sent by Volkswagen – which is supposed to detail how it plans to fix the affected cars, how the fix will work, how it will affect the car’s drivability and durability – fell far short of expectations set forth by CARB and the EPA. According to USA Today, a letter sent from CARB and the EPA to the Volkswagen Group said, “VW’s and Audi’s submissions are incomplete, substantially deficient, and fall far short of meeting the legal requirements to return those vehicles to the claimed certified configuration.” A similar notice was reportedly sent to Porsche as well.
For the record, this isn’t the first time CARB has rejected VW’s statements. Back in February, the firm was supposed to specifically outline how the vehicles affected by this scandal didn’t meet the requirements of the law. That statement was rejected as well, falling short of the requirements set forth by the agency. Volkswagen has released a statement claiming the rejection was “a procedural step” and that it will “continue to work closely” with the board and the EPA to come up a resolution.
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Volkswagen Group of America has issued a recall for the 2015 model year VW Golf, VW GTI, and Audi A3 vehicles. According to a press release, improper nickel plating used for components in the fuel pump may cause the pump to fail, resulting in an inability to start the car, or if the engine is running, causing a stall, increasing the risk of a crash. A total of 6,204 units are potentially affected. So far, there are no reported injuries or accidents as a result of pump failure.
Nissan and BMW issued simultaneous recalls earlier last month citing an identical issue, with some 100,000 vehicles potentially affected. The 2014 Ford Escape and 2015 Lincoln MKC also saw recalls late last year, with 12,205 units potentially affected. In all cases, the problem lay with contaminated nickel plating and debris found in the fuel pump, which causes excessive friction resulting in possible pump failure.
German-based engineering and electronics company Bosch supplied the pumps to all three manufacturers. Bosch spokeswoman Linda Beckmeyer told Autoblog that while all of the listed vehicles don’t necessarily share the same fuel pump, the parts used do go through the same nickel-plating process. There are currently not enough pumps to fix all the vehicles potentially affected, but Beckmeyer says “Bosch is working closely with automakers regarding replacement parts.”
VW says it will notify owners and dealers will inspect and replace the affected fuel pumps free of charge. VW has yet to provide a notification schedule. For more information, owners can call VW at 1-800-893-5298 or Audi at 1-800-253-2834. Owners can also call the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (ask about safety campaign number 15V229000), or visit www.safercar.gov.
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