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Car and Driver: VW’s TDI Solution Could Cost $10 Billion and Not Fix the Problem


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-The deadline for Volkswagen to propose a fix for its emissions-cheating diesel vehicles is fast approaching. And when the June 28 due date arrives, VW could offer a whole boatload of cash—and a mechanical fix that might not ever happen.


Speaking with a knowledgeable insider who requested to remain anonymous, Bloomberg reports that Volkswagen is preparing a proposal that includes $10 billion in make-good money. According to the insider, $6.5 billion would go to owners of Volkswagen Group vehicles equipped with the emissions-cheating software, with the remaining $3.5 billion set to go to U.S. government and California state regulators.


According to the report, the proposal will also allow for affected car owners to sell their vehicles back to Volkswagen, or terminate their leases without penalty. It also will offer owners the option of registering to have their emissions-cheating diesel vehicles repaired to comply with U.S. regulations.


But that repair actually might not ever happen, Bloomberg reports: “Because the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board haven’t approved VW’s proposed fixes, the deal as of now includes an option for car owners to request their vehicles be repaired, but there’s no timetable for doing so or a guarantee there will be an approved fix,” the person said.


The unnamed insider told Bloomberg that Volkswagen has capacity to fix about 5000 affected vehicles per week. With nearly 500,000 emissions-cheating Volkswagen Group vehicles in the U.S., a complete overhaul of every affected vehicle could take two years. And that’s not considering the logistical challenges of parts availability, dealer service department scheduling, and the like.


And even if Volkswagen can get approval for an emissions fix, other unknowns remain. Federal or state regulators could impose further fines on the automaker for each vehicle generating excess emissions, and the damage caused by the emissions scandal has badly hobbled Volkswagen’s business. And this week, German authorities announced that former VW Group CEO Martin Winterkorn is under financial investigation, after allegations that he waited for more than a year before revealing the automaker’s emissions deception.


This story originally appeared on Road & Track.


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