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