VW has developed fix for U.S. diesel problem, report says

The German newspaper Bild am Sontag reported today that a new catalytic converter may be the fix for 430,000 U.S. diesel cars.

Volkswagen may have developed a fix for nearly 430,000 vehicles, equipped with early generation diesel engines, that have been snagged by the Dieselgate emissions cheating scandal. In a story today, the German newspaper Bild am Sontag said that the automaker has developed a catalytic converter that should handle the EA 189 powerplants – the EA 189 was particularly hard-hit by the scandal.

The newspaper, quoted in a Reuters report, said the converter is part of a technical solution that VW has drawn up to handle the emissions cheatware scandal. VW admitted last September that it had installed emissions cheating software in up to 600,000 2.0- and 3.0-liter powerplants in its cars and SUVs. Luxury vehicles manufactured by Audi are among the vehicles.

The automaker installed the software because the EA 189 powerplant, introduced in 2008, could not meet emissions standards for oxides of nitrogen. To enable the powerplant to pass U.S. standards, VW installed what it called a “defeat switch,” in its TDI (turbocharged direct injection) engined vehicles. The “defeat switch” was a software subroutine that looked for emissions testing. If the subroutine detected a test, the emissions systems tightened up so the vehicle would pass. On completion, the software restored the car to normal operating standards. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the automaker entered into a consent decree where VW admitted the emissions scam.

According to Bild am Sontag, a source indicated the catalyst was only a part of the fix. The article seemed to indicate there are other pieces, as well. The converter will likely be manufactured from new materials. The EPA must approve the fix. VW and the agency have gone back and forth for the last four months on the fix with relations becoming strained, according to a Reuters story.

Matthias Mueller will be in high-level talks on Wednesday with EPA officials hoping to convince them to approve the fix, Automotive News reported today.