Volkswagen will soon be able to repair some of its diesel cars so that the company can comply with United States vehicle emissions standards. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board said that the automaker got its approval to fix around 67,000 of the 475,000 Volkswagens and Audis with 2.0-liter diesel engines that were programmed to cheat on U.S. emissions tests.
The German automaker recently faced a lawsuit regarding this issue. The company agreed to a billion dollar settlement to buy back and repair millions of vehicles that used illegal software to cheat diesel emissions test.
Volkswagen says 58,000 of those vehicles are in the care of customers and 9,000 are at dealerships. Under the agreement announced last Friday, Volkswagen is given 10 days to notify the affected car owners about the repair.
The remedy won't apply to older Volkswagen and Audi models which date to 2009 since the automaker has filed a separate fix for those models, and the EPA and CARB haven't approved it yet. It also doesn't apply to vehicles with 3.0-liter diesel engines, which are part of a separate settlement.
Volkswagen will reprogram the cars' software immediately. Before this year ends, the automaker will also install hardware on the cars, including a diesel particulate filter.
The repair is only a part of the $15 billion settlement approved by a federal judge in October. Under the settlement, car owners and leaseholders were given the choice between selling the cars back to Volkswagen or have the cars repaired by the company. Volkswagen also agreed to compensate owners of up to $10,000 depending on the age of the cars.
Last month, the automaker also agreed to repair or buy back 80,000 polluting 3.0-liter diesel vehicles sold. The cars covered by the settlement are luxury Volkswagen, Porsche and Audi vehicles with 3.0-liter engines, with a buy back offer not more than $20,000.