November 20: Volkswagen Emissions Crisis Deadline Approaches

November 16, 2015 0 Comments

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Executives from both Volkswagen and Audi will meet with the Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board, according to Reuters. The VW employees are meeting with the government organizations as a critical deadline approaches. A deadline set by CARB indicates Volkswagen must have a plan to fix the at least 482,000 vehicles impacted in the U.S. before November 20.

While CARB set a deadline for VW to hear back about their plan to fix the impacted diesel vehicles, the EPA is the organization to keep an eye on. Right after the news of the diesel emissions crisis broke, speculation grew that the EPA could hit Volkswagen very hard over their diesel emissions software issue. The early numbers, according to Reuters, indicated VW could face a fine of $37,500 per impacted vehicle.

That $37,500 times 482,000 vehicles equals around $18 billion, a number too large to be ignored. Cynthia Giles, enforcement officer with the EPA, spoke in early September about the VW situation on a news media conference call saying, “Put simply, these cars contained software that turns off emissions controls when driving normally and turns them on when the car is undergoing an emissions test.”

While their plan to fix the impacted vehicles is not yet known, and may not become public even after the meeting with CARA and the EPA, VW has tried to reach out to consumers during the nearly two-month old diesel emissions crisis. As we told you previously, Volkswagen is offering a ”goodwill package” to current VW diesel owners, who have vehicles with the so-called emissions software “defeat device.”

The offer from VW is a $500 prepaid Visa gift card and $500 voucher for use on service at a VW dealership. Both cards are only available to consumers who can verify the vehicle VIN number and redeem the two gift cards, which will come in the mail and will then be activated at a VW dealership. The “goodwill” program comes on the heels of a Volkswagen attempt to keep customers by offering a $2,000 off deal for current VW owners on new gas or hybrid Volkswagen vehicles.

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