Volkswagen Submits Proposal for Diesel-Emissions Fix Amid Calls for Vehicle Buybacks
WASHINGTON – Volkswagen submitted an initial proposal to the EPA and California air regulators for potential remedies in its diesel-emissions scandal on Friday, but the details are not being disclosed to the public, the automaker told Edmunds.
Volkswagen confirmed that it met with regulators to address emissions violations with the company’s 2.0-liter diesel vehicles. The potential issue with the company’s 3.0-liter six-cylinder diesel engines is not addressed in this proposal.
“We continue to fully cooperate with EPA and CARB (California Air Resources Board) as we work to develop an approved remedy as quickly as possible,” VW said in a statement late Friday. “The United States continues to be one of the important markets for Volkswagen Group where we have made significant investments over the years. Volkswagen is committed to making things right and regaining the trust of our valued customers.”
Volkswagen spokeswoman Jeannine Ginivan said the company is “unable to provide details of this meeting or of the proposal for potential remedies.”
The EPA and CARB confirmed that the proposal is under review but did not provide details. The agencies will work together with Volkswagen to develop a national recall plan.
CARB said Volkswagen may be forced to revise its draft proposal or elements of any recall plan.
“The remedy proposed in the recall must not only fix the violation in question, it must also address the safety, drivability, vehicle durability and fuel efficiency of the cars involved,” CARB said in a statement on Friday.
It added that a recall plan “must set out the projected time to fix each vehicle,” along with a process for determining how affected owners will be located.
CARB has up to 20 business days to review all elements of the plan.
In the meantime, U.S. Senators Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) issued a call late last week for Volkswagen to buy back the affected vehicles, citing such a program in the European Union for Volkswagen vehicles whose greenhouse-gas emissions were understated.
“We specifically request that you immediately announce VW’s willingness to buy back these impacted vehicles,” the two said in a letter to Volkswagen Group of America President and CEO Michael Horn. “We additionally urge you to offer drivers the fair market value for these vehicles that was in place before VW’s illegal activity was made publicly known.”
At this point, Volkswagen has offered owners “paltry compensation,” the senators said, including $1,000 worth of gift cards and 24-hour roadside assistance at no charge for three years.
Volkswagen must repair 482,000 2.0-liter diesel cars that are fitted with illegal software that allows them to skirt U.S. emissions standards.
Edmunds says: Owners of these cars are still in a holding pattern as federal and state regulators get a first look at Volkswagen’s proposal for a remedy.