The big stumbling block for Volkswagen and the EPA/California Air Resources Board (CARB) has been trying to figure out a fix for diesel vehicles with illegal software. Ever since CARB rejected Volkswagen's first proposal back in January, the three have been in negotiations. But now, an official from CARB says some vehicles may only get a partial fix.
Speaking at a legislative hearing in California yesterday, chief of the California Air Resources Board enforcement division Todd Sax said it might not be possible for Volkswagen to provide a compliant fix for all of the affected models.
"Our goal has been to fix the vehicles and return them to their certified configuration as expeditiously as possible. Unfortunately, this may not be possible," said Sax.
He believes there isn't a fix that could comply with either emission standards or onboard diagnostic requirements.
"We will have to decide what the best approach is to dealing with these vehicles, and one of the options potentially would be to accept something less than a full fix," explained Sax.
Newer TDI models use AdBlue diesel exhaust fluid to clean up emission and it is expected a software update will bring them into compliance. Older TDI models feature lean NOx traps (LNTs) to clean up emissions. These models need extensive modifications to bring them into compliance which could cost Volkswagen a lot of money.
Sax was quick to point out that a compromise hasn't been agreed on and all of the parties are still in discussions. But if this option was taken, Volkswagen would need to pay penalties to mitigate the harm caused by leaving these vehicles on the road.