Try, try, and try again, and eventually you’re bound to get it right. Or at least that appears to be the case for Volkswagen and regulators who have finally reached a deal to fix thousands of diesel vehicles equipped with so-called “defeat devices” that skirt federal emissions standards.
The Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board announced Friday that they had approved a fix for about 70,000 2-liter Volkswagen vehicles that release up to 40-times the allowable rate of nitrogen oxide.
According to the agencies, the remedy will take place in two phases over the next year.
The first phase, available now, will remove the defeat device software and replace it with software that directs the emission controls to function effectively in all typical vehicle operation, the EPA says.
The second phase, which will take place next year, involves VW installing additional software updates and hardware, including a diesel particulate filter, diesel oxidation catalyst, and NOx catalyst — all of which are needed to maintain vehicle reliability and emissions performance over time.
“The test data and technical information VW submitted to EPA and CARB demonstrated that the emissions modification being approved today will not affect vehicle fuel economy, reliability, or durability,” the agencies said in a statement. “EPA and CARB confirmed those conclusions through independent testing and analysis at their own laboratories.”
The fix applies to model year 2015 Volkswagen Beetle, Beetle Convertible, Golf, Golf SportWagen, Jetta, and Passat, and the model year 2015 diesel Audi A3.
With the fix approval, VW can now offer owners of affected vehicles the choice to keep and fix their car, or to have it bought back, as dictated by the $15 billion settlement finalized last year.
Additionally, the company will be allowed to resell the vehicles it does buy back as long as they are fixed before re-entering the market.
Previously, CARB rejected two proposed fixes from VW related to both 2.0-liter and 3.0-liter vehicles, saying the plans were “incomplete, substantially deficient, and fall far short of meeting the legal requirements to return these vehicles to the claimed certified configuration.”
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Consumerist.