VW, Audi, Porsche 3-litre fix rejected by US authorities

15 July 2016
In a damning letter to Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche, the California Air Resources Board (CARB), in conjunction with the US Environmental Protection Agency, has rejected a further proposed company fix for 3-litre diesel vehicles impacted by the global emissions scandal.

The agency letter is a scathing and detailed description of the inadequacy of the company’s proposed vehicle fixes.  It notes they are, “incomplete, substantially deficient and fall far short of meeting the legal requirements to return these vehicles to the claimed certified configuration.”

Jason Geisker, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers Principal running the Australian class action on behalf of around 100,000 affected Australian motorists, says the CARB response is a damning indictment on the approach VW, Audi and Porsche have taken to providing any proper and comprehensive solution aimed at remedying their misconduct.

“The CARB decision highlights the uncertainty motorists around the world continue to face for any proposed VW fix of their vehicles.  Despite multiple requests, VW, Audi and Porsche have failed to ‘sufficiently describe the remedial procedure’ or ‘the impact of proposed fixes on fuel economy, drivability, performance and safety’ for affected US 3.0 litre vehicles,” Mr Geisker said.

"It is very disappointing that VW continues to behave the way it does towards affected motorists. It is now nine months since the emissions scandal was exposed and yet Australian motorists still have no approved fix or proper information as to the impact any changes will have on their car’s operation, performance and durability.”

“We will continue to push VW for adequate compensation for affected motorists. Continued ducking and weaving does nothing to assist duped customers.

Volkswagen is on the record as proposing to settle these issues in the US for 1.6 and 2.0 -litre diesel vehicles. Rather than treat Australia as a backwater VW should compensate all affected motorists, including the 100,000 or so Australian motorists caught up in this global scandal.

The CARB letters (available at www.mauriceblackburn.com.au/VWCARBfixletters) detail alarm bells, highlighting six particularly concerning inadequacies in the revised fix proposals:

  1.     Failing to fully disclose and describe all defeat devices used;
  2.     A lack of detail on non-conformities to enable proper assessment of proposed fixes;
  3.     An inability to specifically and adequately describe the proposed fixes, leaving the authority unable to evaluate if the fixes could be successful or even technically feasible or that they wouldn’t actually cause further emissions deterioration;
  4.     A lack of data to demonstrate that the proposed fix would even return the vehicles to the required certified configuration;
  5.     Insufficiently addressing impacts of the proposed fixes on the future engine operation; and
  6.     Lastly, the recall plan CANNOT be completed expeditiously as some required data won’t even be available until later in the year.

Practice Areas: