Illegal VW diesel emission systems may require 2 solutions
THE MOTOR CITY -- Volkswagen AG 's guarantee to correct pollution control-systems on about 1 1 million diesel autos calls for changes to applications, and maybe hardware, that may leave owners with automobiles that produce reduced fuel economy and efficiency or need more care, specialists said Tuesday.
The German auto-maker new CEO, Matthias Mueller, stated Tuesday VW clients would have to have those diesel automobiles "re-fitted." The firm failed to establish exactly what the refitting may entail. Some analysts have said the occupation could cost more than $6.5 billion.
A former executive of Volkswagen's U.S. business said Tuesday the firm may be needed to alter only applications, and not hardware, to to create older diesel versions now deemed prohibited into conformity with U.S. discharges standards.
But other specialists and U.S. regulators said the German automaker probably will have to to create two sets of options for two distinct emission-control-systems installed on 482,000 U.S. diesel vehicles from model-years 2009 15.
Volkswagen has acknowledged using applications that circumvented US and California contamination rules by completely activating the exhaust scrubbing techniques only when the automobile was being subjected to just appointed authorities discharges evaluations.
Volkswagen has not mentioned why it employed the prohibited "defeat system" to deceive regulators. But the consequences, at least for a while, were favorable: Volkswagen could pass lab tests that demonstrated its U.S. diesel automobiles satisfied the applicable regulations, but powered down the emission control apparatus while driving.
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Some great benefits of changing the pollution control-systems away were diverse depending on which method the automobiles employed, specialists said.
Volkswagen initially installed the prohibited program, starting in late 2008, on 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo diesel engines fitted with apparatus known as "lean NOx traps," developed to decrease nitrogen oxides in motor exhaust. Nitrogen oxide emissions are associated with smog, acid rain and lung cancer.
United States Environmental Protection Agency said the other day it could take more time to repair older VW diesels from model-years 2009-2014 which used utilized the lean NOx traps.
Any apparatus used to to regulate nitrogen oxide emissions generally "reduces the operation and fuel-economy" of diesel engines, according to automotive adviser Sandy Munro.
Older VW diesels may be got to work correctly using a pc software repair, mentioned Marc Trahan, who retired in late 2014 as executive vice-president of team quality after a 3-5-yr job with Volkswagen and its Audi subsidiary company. They shouldn't have to get newer components installed, which will take considerably more, need extensive "reengineering" and be cost-prohibitive, he explained.
Starting in the year 2012, Volkswagen provided the same 2.0 TDI engines with a more complex and pricey emissions control program called Selective Catalytic Reduction. These techniques, which debuted on Volkswagen's biggest automobile, the Passat, injected a fluid urea solution to the exhaust to break up the nitrogen oxides.
These methods also had applications that turned them away during ordinary driving, the firm has acknowledged. The results of operating the techniques most of the time is going to vary for customers than the old, NOx traps.
Ideally, the urea solution employed to to manage smog-forming gases is likely to be changed every 10,000 miles, usually by a supplier, but Volkswagen ran into possible issues.
On newer versions using the SCR program, Trahan stated there were issues within the organization regarding the urea usage being so so excellent that it'd need different "fillups" every 5,000 miles, instead than the desirable 10,000-mile times that are common between motor oil changes.
A computer software update to the newer diesel versions equipped with SCR apparatus could lead to "decreased vehicle operation and fuel-economy and improved urea use," stated analyst Kevin Riddell of LMC Automotive. The newest applications "also can have a direct effect on re-sale value and possible marketability," he stated.
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