Volkswagen has officially announced “the next step” in reigning in the emissions from its offending EA189 engines caught up in the ‘dieselgate’ emissions scandal.
The EA189 engine exists in both 1.6 and 2.0 litre capacities, and the carmaker says each engine requires a different approach.
For customers with the 2.0 litre engine, a simple software upgrade is all that is required to bring the emission outputs back to compliant levels. Volkswagen says this will take around 30 minutes per vehicle.
But customers with 1.6 litre EA189 engines are in for a longer wait (one hour), as the smaller engine requires a similar software upgrade along with some new hardware.
A “flow transformer” will also be required for the 1.6 unit, which will be installed in front of the air-mass sensor (see video, top of page). The transformer is essentially a plastic pipe with a gauze-like design at one end.
“This component stabilises the air flow, and allows a more precise measurement of the incoming fresh air flow,” Volkswagen’s Andreas Krause said. “As a result, the fuel can be metered more precisely to improve emissions.”
The proposed changes have been presented to the Federal Motor Transport Authority in Germany for approval, but it is unclear at this stage whether the same fixes can be applied to vehicles in Australia.
Volkswagen said earlier that a recall in Australia would be voluntary for Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda customers with the offending engines in their vehicles.
Many customers have expressed concern that the changes will degrade engine performance and result in higher fuel consumption.
Now, Volkswagen has stated that the specific target for the rectification program is “no adverse effects on fuel consumption and performance”.
But as the new components and software are yet to undergo official testing for either engine output or fuel consumption, Volkswagen said these figures are currently unknown.
A fix for Volkswagen’s 1.2 litre three-cylinder EA189 engine is still a work in progress, but the carmaker expects to submit a design to the Federal Motor Transport Authority soon.
From there, Volkswagens hope to rectify all EA189 engines over the course of 2016, with recalls in some markets beginning in January.