U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer in San Francisco has given VW a drop dead date of March 24th to fix their diesel problem or else there will be major consequences.
Late last year, as we all know the story by now, VW was hit hard when they were caught cheating on diesel emissions in ever diesel they made. Last month, the U.S. justice department sued them for $46 billion for knowingly doing this to 600,000 cars and violating U.S. environmental laws.
Now it seems like VW has a fire lit under their collective asses.
U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer in San Francisco said he wants a definitive answer on the status of a fix by March 24.
Noting that VW admitted in September that its vehicles on U.S. roads were using software to emit up to 40 times legally allowable pollution, Breyer said time was running out.
“Six months is long enough” to determine if this is a fixable problem, Breyer said. “This is an ongoing problem.”
I don’t blame them for wanting the fix in now. VW seems to have dragged their feet on this, but it’s not exactly a flip of the switch kind of thing. An internal investigation needs to happen and that could take years. While VW has offered fixes, nothing has been accepted yet.
U.S. regulators have already rejected VW’s plans to fix nearly 500,000 of the affected vehicles with 2.0-liter engines. VW submitted a plan for other vehicles with 3.0-liter engines in violation earlier this month.
VW lawyer Robert Giuffra told Breyer at the hearing that the automaker is making progress in trying to reach a settlement with the Justice Department, the EPA and California Air Resources Board.
“We are committed to resolving these matters as quickly as possible,” Giuffra said, adding that the diesel emissions issue involves up to 11 million vehicles in 100 countries.
It remains to be seen as to how this will effect VW in the long term, but if it’s anything like what happened to Audi in the 80s, they’re in for 20 years of struggles.
(Source: Automotive News)