VW's recall plan rejected by California agency
CALIFORNIA'S chief air regulator on Wednesday turned down a proposed recall plan from Volkswagen to fix 16,000 three-litre diesel Volkswagens, Audis and Porsches in the state equipped with devices designed to cheat emissions tests.
The California Air Resources Board (Carb) said the plan to fix the VW and Audi luxury vehicles, which range from model years 2009-16, was insufficient.
"VW's and Audi's submissions are incomplete, substantially deficient, and fall far short of meeting the legal requirements to return these vehicles to the claimed certified configuration," it added.
The regulator said it will not have enough data at least until December to decide on whether a three-litre fix would work for all the diesel vehicles. If no fix is possible, the company may have to buy back the vehicles.
These include the Volkswagen Touareg, Porsche Cayenne and Audi A8.
The announcement came as a surprise because VW lawyer Robert Giuffra last month said the German automaker believed it could fix 85,000 polluting three-litre vehicles nationwide, and said the fix would not be "complicated".
A United States Environmental Protection Agency spokesman said it agreed that VW has not presented an approvable recall plan.
VW last month reached a settlement worth up to US$15.3 billion (S$20.6 billion) with regulators and owners over its two-litre diesel vehicles that were also equipped with the devices that covered up their true output of air pollution.
That included up to US$10 billion to buy back as many as 475,000 polluting two-litre vehicles.