Some VW TDI Owners Might Keep Driving Their Cars Without Being Fixed

Volkswagen’s Dieselgate settlement deal for customers with 2.0-liter TDI engined vehicles has received its preliminary approval, but some say that some cars could still drive on American roads without any fix.
2013 Volkswagen Beetle TDI 7 photos
Photo: Volkswagen
2013 Volkswagen Beetle TDI2013 Volkswagen Beetle TDI2013 Volkswagen Beetle TDI2013 Volkswagen Beetle TDI2013 Volkswagen Beetle TDI2013 Volkswagen Beetle TDI
As we previously explained in a story regarding the initial permission of the settlement, owners of the 2.0-liter TDI engined Volkswagen and Audi vehicles sold in the USA have two choices according to the proposal. Both include receiving a cash payment from Volkswagen AG, but there is no obligation for owners to seek this settlement.

As Bloomberg notes, Dieselgate-affected vehicles sold in the USA with a 2.0-liter TDI engine still have the option of driving their cars without having them fixed. The described situation could continue for years in the case of some of the 482,000 vehicles sold with EA189 2.0-liter TDI engines fitted with a “defeat device.”

The drivers of these vehicles could use them without any hassle because of a loophole, which allows them to do so if the EPA does not approve any fix provided by Volkswagen by the date of June 30, 2019.

Evidently, those vehicles will still have to be maintained and be in running order to be eligible to drive on American roads, but the only thing standing between the dieselgate-affected 2.0-liter TDI-engined vehicles without a fix are state emission regulations. Except California, a state that has the most strict policies in the USA, while most of the other states could allow this to happen.

Even the settlement deal includes Volkswagen’s obligation to buy back or fix 85% of the affected 2.0-liter TDI-engined cars sold in the USA by the deadline set in 2019. The rest of the 15% might go on without a repair or penalty for the German automaker.

We must note that the state of California will apply further fines for VW if the deadline is not met with the state's quota fixed. If VW does fall short on a national level, it will have to pay $85 million more for each percentage point of the shortfall, so it is in the company’s best interest to fix at least 85% of the affected cars.
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About the author: Sebastian Toma
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Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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