Volkswagen has already submitted its recall plan for its 2-liter diesel engines—it was rejected by both the EPA and California Air Resources Board. It also needed to submit a recall plan for 3-liter diesel engines to CARB by Feb. 2, which it did.
The EPA said it will review the proposal. The Air Resources Board (CARB or ARB) said it will respond "following a thorough and complete review to make sure the plan addresses the presence of the illegal defeat device and follows the necessary environmental, vehicle and public health and safety regulations."
Last month CARB rejected "VW’s submitted recall plan for 2-liter diesel passenger vehicles sold in California between 2009 and 2015," according to a Jan. 12 press release. The total amount of affected 2-liter diesel vehicles in the U.S. is 482,000.
Volkswagen made a decision to cheat on emissions tests and then tried to cover it up,” said CARB Chair Mary D. Nichols. “They continued and compounded the lie and when they were caught they tried to deny it. The result is thousands of tons of nitrogen oxide that have harmed the health of Californians. They need to make it right. Today's action is a step in the direction of assuring that will happen."
The press release goes on to indicate the depth of the environmental harm the illegal emissions have caused the Golden State.
The defeat devices on VW’s diesel vehicles have caused substantial excess, illegal, and ongoing emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) from the vehicles. NOx emissions in California are the most important contributor to ambient ozone and a key contributor to fine particulate matter pollution, which is associated with premature death, increased hospitalizations, emergency room visits due to exacerbation of chronic heart and lung diseases, and other serious health impacts. California is home to both the highest ozone levels (South Coast) and ambient particulate matter levels (San Joaquin Valley) measured in the United States.
EPA agreed with CARB in rejecting VWs recall plan for the 2-liter vehicles.
"U.S. and California regulators expanded their investigation to the 3-liter diesel models in November, saying the automaker had put [defeat] devices on them to defeat emissions tests," write Hull and Plungis. The initial recall was issued by EPA and CARB last September. Last month the Department of Justice, on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), filed a civil complaint in federal court against Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche.
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