Could Volkswagen's Fix For 84,000 Vehicles In Dieselgate Affect Car Efficiency?

May 22, 2017 01:00 AM EDT | Rebecca Pearson

Could Volkswagen's fix for 84,000 vehicles affect the car's efficiency? A test done in the U.K., in the wake of the Dieselgate scandal that erupted two years ago, revealed this problem despite the company assuring the public this won't be the case.

The news comes as the company announced Friday it received its U.S. approval from the Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board for the fix. This will cover exactly 84,390 automatic vehicles sold in 2012-2014 and Volkswagen is still awaiting approval for its fix for manual transmissions, as per Reuters.

The new software fix the company offered did help one test car achieve legal nitrogen oxide emissions levels, as revealed in the test Autocar undertook. Its combined fuel economy, however, showed a significant drop, which meant the test car's CO2 emissions went up.

The test disproved Volkswagen's claims the fix won't impact car economy or performance. "Looking at the pre and post-fix test data for fuel economy, it's concerning that the data doesn't back that claim up," the car's owner, Jonathan Mudd, said. "My car is now less fuel-efficient than it was before the required technical measure was carried out and means I'll be out of pocket as a result."

Volkswagen, which disputed Autocar's test for its lack of variables and poor car maintenance by the owner, was not legally obligated to fully compensate car owners affected by this scandal. The company, however, had the option to buy back the car from its owners and pay them up between $5,100 to $10,000.

The courts also required Volkswagen to come up with the fix for car owners globally, should the owners decide to keep the car and not take the buyback offer. Many did opt for a buyback but there were still plenty of owners who chose the fix.

The automaker then issued some 600,000 fixes for 1.2 vehicles affected in the U.K. Meanwhile, apart from the 84,000 cars in the U.S., some 67,000 cars from its 2015 model diesel, also received approval for fixes from regulators. A total of 550,000 vehicles in America needed the fix, as per the Associated Press. Learn more about Volkswagen Dieselgate in the video below.

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