The court has released an update on progress to the #Dieselgate scandal that touches on how well VW is progressing on all fronts, both in terms of buy backs and fixes.
Overall it seems the court is very happy with the progress that has been made, reporting that to date, 307,847 vehicles have either been updated or removed from commerce through June 15, 2017. Vast majority of which were bought back cars, as only the gen 3 vehicles (2015 model year only) and automatic transmission gen 2 vehicles have fix approvals thus far, and about 10,000 of those cars have had a fix applied (combined gen 2 and 3 upto the date of the report). There also have been some 2015s that were leftovers, never sold to the public before the stop sale was issued in September 2015, many have also had the fix applied and are up for sale right now. Gen 2 cars have yet to be approved for resale post-fix, but that should be coming very soon.
The bigger news to me is the fact that VW did in fact meet the deadline to submit a fix proposal for gen 1 cars back in January, and it is still undergoing evaluation by the EPA/CARB. VW is reportedly not quitting on gen 1 cars easily and is determined to find a fix that satisfies all parties.
There is also a note that VW’s fix proposal for the gen 2 manual transmission cars (2012-14 Passats were the only ones to use this engine, so a relatively small number of cars) failed to meet emissions targets without impact to durability and reliability and VW is reassessing and will be working on a revised fix proposal to address the concerns.
It also took right around 22 weeks from submittal of fix proposal of gen 2 automatics to when they received approval. Closer to 8.5 weeks for the gen 3 cars, and the gen 1 cars are going on 22 weeks and counting. All we know is that it is pending and testing is still ongoing.
VW has good incentive to find a fix, as they then could recoup a small amount of expense by being able to resell the fixed cars. Still a giant money-losing situation no matter what, but it could at least help reduce the hurt. Plus, the court agreement was intended to give consumers the choice between a buyback and keeping their cars. It is the full intention of all involved to arrive at an approved fix, even if compromised to be not as clean as they were originally certified to.
The report also goes on to give information on the 3L V6 affected vehicles. Fixes have been submitted and are currently being evaluated by EPA/CARB for the second gen V6s. First gen engines have an expected fix submittal date of August 25.
The report also goes on to show the progress VW has made with their zero emissions vehicle commitment and they have also so far paid $1.45 billion for the clean air act civil penalty.
The document does outline some struggles of the initial buyback process as things first got underway for that process late last year. A combination of many bugs to sort out and unexpected huge demand up front to take the buyback. It seemed as though the EPA/CARB and VW assumed the masses got the message that the agreement is designed to be very consumer friendly and thought more would wait for a fix rather than take the immediate buyback. Clearly, they were wrong, thanks in part to misinformation that was rampant in various journalist outlets. To be fair to the journalists, this is an exceptionally complex subject, not only in terms of the technology involved to clean modern diesel emissions up to current stringent standards but also the various facets surrounding the settlement itself.
All in all, the court seems pleased that VW has addressed the early issues with buybacks and things are operating much more smoothly now, they have also hit 61.6% of cars being either bought back or fixed. At this point, most of that number are bought back cars, as the large majority of affected cars are the gen 1 vehicles with no approved fix as of yet (though signs are hopeful that they may yet get there, proposals are still being evaluated).
So, to any of you remaining #dieselgate affected folks still left holding onto these cars, if you truly like the vehicle and still consider keeping it, there’s hope. In the meantime, keep enjoying the vehicles for the very efficient and surprisingly peppy vehicles that they are.
Read the report for yourself here: http://www.cand.uscourts.gov/filelibrary/3113/3370-Joint-Status-Report-on-Implementation-of.pdf