VW gets US nod to sell 2015 model year diesel-pow­ered cars

New Straits Times - - Business -

WASH­ING­TON: Volk­swa­gen AG (VW) will soon do what’s been im­pos­si­ble since its emis­sions cri­sis be­gan: sell diesel-pow­ered cars in the United States.

The com­pany re­ceived ap­proval from the En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency (EPA) for its deal­ers to sell 2015 model year diesel cars af­ter up­dat­ing the ve­hi­cles’ emis­sions soft­ware, said VW Group of Amer­ica spokesman Jean­nine Gini­van.

The soft­ware up­date is part of a re­quired emis­sions re­pair ap­proved by the EPA and Cal­i­for­nia Air Re­sources Board.

The re­pair would also in­clude changes to diesel en­gine hard­ware, but deal­ers did not have to wait un­til the re­pair parts be­came avail­able early next year, said Gini­van.

“We are still fi­nal­is­ing the de­tails of this pro­gramme and would pro­vide more in­for­ma­tion on its im­ple­men­ta­tion at the ap­pro­pri­ate time,” said Gini­van.

Re­viv­ing diesel sales marks a sig­nif­i­cant mile­stone in VW’s ef­forts to re­cover from the scan­dal and re­build its re­la­tion­ship with en­vi­ron­men­tal reg­u­la­tors.

It also re­turns a key prod­uct to dealer show­rooms that at­tracted a cult-like cus­tomer base and ac­counted for about 20 per cent of the VW brand’s pre-scan­dal sales.

Yet it is a mostly sym­bolic step. The sales ap­proval only ap­plied to about 67,000 diesels from the 2015 model, about 12,000 of which were cur­rently in dealer in­ven­tory, said Gini­van.

The German car­maker has also said no new diesel mod­els would be of­fered in the US, at least through model year 2018.

VW is mov­ing ag­gres­sively to­wards elec­tric ve­hi­cles, sig­nalling a di­min­ish­ing role for diesel engines in the com­pany’s port­fo­lio, es­pe­cially in the US. Bloomberg

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