On Friday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California’s Air Resources Board (CARB) announced that they approved a new fix (PDF) for 84,390 diesel vehicles that were caught up in the Volkswagen Group scandal that broke in 2015.
The fix applies to automatic 2.0L Passats from 2012-2014 (manual Passats do not have an approved fix yet). The approval is good news for VW Group, which is required to fix or buy back all of the 475,474 diesel vehicles that were caught using illegal software to circumvent nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions rules in 2015. The cars with the offending software belched many times the amount of NOx permitted by US regulators while being driven under normal driving conditions, but the cars passed emissions tests when hooked up to a dynamometer in a lab.
Although car owners can choose whether they want VW Group to buy back their vehicle or fix it, VW Group can’t resell any cars that aren’t in compliance with US emissions standards, even in countries where emissions standards are more lax. With the approval of a fix, VW Group doesn’t have to eat so much of a loss on those 84,390 cars.