California board rejects Volkswagen's diesel fix plan

Tue Jan 12, 2016 5:20pm EST
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By David Shepardson

(Reuters) - The California Air Resources Board said on Tuesday it rejected Volkswagen AG's (VOWG_p.DE: Quote) plan to fix 2.0 liter diesel cars equipped with software that allows them to emit up to 40 times legally allowable pollution.

The state said VW's proposed fix was "incomplete, substantially deficient and falls far short of meeting the legal requirements." It also said the proposal could not be implemented soon enough.

California sent VW a confidential letter offering a detailed explanation of why its proposed solution, or fix, does not work. The state said it will continue its investigation as well as talks with VW.

The automaker said in a statement that it is in talks to find a solution, and said the rejection addresses the initial recall plans submitted to California in December.

"Since then, Volkswagen has had constructive discussions with CARB, including last week when we discussed a framework" to address the issue.

VW has admitted using software that circumvented U.S. and California pollution rules by fully activating the exhaust scrubbing systems only when a car was being put through precisely prescribed government emissions tests.

The state did not assess any immediate penalties, but it issued a new notice that VW had violated California air quality regulations.

VW CEO Matthias Muller is meeting with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency chief Gina McCarthy on Wednesday to discuss the emissions scandal that involves nearly 600,000 vehicles in the United States and up to 11 million vehicles worldwide.   Continued...

The Volkswagen emblem is shown on the grill of Volkswagen's BUDD-e electric vehicle during a keynote address at the 2016 CES trade show in Las Vegas, Nevada January 5, 2016.  REUTERS/Steve Marcus