Reuters announced today that U.S. regulators have in fact approved an emissions fix for Gen 3 “EA288" family 2.0L TDI diesel engines, these engines were only found in 2015 model year Golf, Beetle, Jetta and Passats and represent about 58,000 of the over 400,000 affected cars. You will also note that the article states once a fix has been applied to affected cars, Volkswagen will in fact be allowed to resell them.
More pertinent information for affected owners can be found in this court document.
The document outlines that the fix for the gen 3 cars will be a two step process, first step will be a software update, the second stage, to happen in 2018 sometime most likely, will also have a hardware retrofit.
They warn that the two things the owners of the vehicles may notice is a change in the tone/sound of the engine along with an increase in Adblue/Diesel Exhaust Fluid usage ranging anywhere from 1% to 14%, depending on driving conditions.
The document does stress that there should NOT be any changes to drivability, performance, durability or efficiency with the now approved fix.
There are other minor changes that may be noticeable outlined in the document, but the most important for most owners will be the bottom line: no difference in fuel consumption or performance, but you will almost certainly have to top off the adblue tank more frequently.
The second stage of the fix may also include VW replacing the entire “exhaust purification module” as they call it in their self-study program for dealer technicians. On the EA288 family/Gen 3 TDIs, the diesel oxidizing catalyst, the diesel particulate filter along with the selective catalytic reduction catalyst and the adblue injector are all part of the same assembly that bolts to the back of the engine (VW’s attempt to make the engine relatively modular and ease certain aspects of servicing/replacing the components). Manual transmission cars with more than 70,000 miles and automatics with more than 40,000 miles will get that entire module replaced as a matter of course to help ensure the components will make it the full extended warranty period post-fix.
Speaking of, the document also outlines what the extended warranty period will look like:
The warranty period for the “Extended Emissions Warranty” limited warranty extension shall be the greater of:
- 11 years or 162,000 miles, whichever occurs first, from the vehicle’s original in-service date; OR
- 5 years or 60,000 miles, whichever occurs first, from the date and mileage of Phase 1 of the emissions modification. At the time of the subsequent Phase 2 modification, the extended warranty will be honored for 5 years or 60,000 miles, whichever occurs first, from the date and mileage of the completion of Phase 2.
The document also goes on to list additional components which are to be covered under warranty, some of which had been declined as items that would be covered under an emissions warranty prior to the scandal:
- The entire exhaust after treatment system, including the Diesel Oxidation Catalyst, the Diesel Particulate Filter, the Selective Catalytic Reduction converter, the dosing injector and other Diesel Exhaust Fluid system components, the exhaust flap, and all sensors and actuators
- The entire fuel system, including fuel pumps, high pressure fuel rail, fuel injectors, vibration damper, pressure control valve and all sensors and actuators
- The EGR system, including EGR valves, EGR cooler, EGR filter, EGR temperature sensor, all related hoses and pipes, and all sensors and actuators
- The turbocharger, including the turbocharger damper
-The On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) system, including SCR DEF quality sensor, and any malfunctions detected by the OBD systems other than those related to the transmission.
The extended warranties in particular are big wins for consumers. Many of these items, in particular the variable geometry turbo and any exhaust aftertreatment components are very expensive and labor-intensive to replace, this should help alleviate concerns over cost of ownership for those who already own the vehicles.
Now, here’s to hoping we get news of approval for the gen 1 and 2 engines along with the V6s soon. So far so good for owners of these cars, though.