German authority accepts VW's diesel fix

Germany's vehicle type approval body - the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) - has accepted the VW Group's proposed repairs for its illegal EA 189 diesel engine.

The VW Group has presented the technical details of its fix for the emissions-cheating unit to the KBA, confirming the steps the manufacturer will take going forward in regards to the 2.0 and 1.6 litre engines. Methods to resolve the illegal features in the affected 1.2 litre TDI engine will be presented before the end of the month.

For the 1.6 litre TDI engine, technicians will fit a "flow transformer" in front of the air mass sensor. According to VW: "This is a mesh that calms the swirled air flow in front of the air mass sensor and will thus decisively improve the measuring accuracy of the air mass sensor. The air mass sensor determines the current air mass throughput, which is a very important parameter for the engine management for an optimum combustion process."

VW has also said that a software update will be performed to eradicate the illegal coding that is at the centre of the emissions scandal. It is expected that the time needed to carry out the work will be less than an hour.

The 2.0 litre unit is simpler still to fix and will just require the software upgrade - a process that will take around half an hour apparently.

VW's TDI fix

Volkswagen has attributed the relatively simple fixes to the fact that engine development has moved on from when the EA 189 unit was designed, and also to advanced simulation systems that can accurately calculate the movement of air about the engine.

VW's statement said: "The objective for the development of the technical measures is still to achieve the applicable emission targets in each case without any adverse effects on the engine output, fuel consumption and performance. However, as all model variants first have to be measured, the achievement of these targets cannot yet be finally confirmed."

As for the next stage, now that the technical details have been ratified, the recall process is being developed for European markets. The company's aim is to start the updates in January 2016, and it will take the rest of the year to complete the process. The process is being designed to take as short an amount of time as possible, both minimising the customer's inconvenience and helping the VW Group get through the millions of vehicles that need updating.

It has been confirmed that VW will contact all customers directly and determine the individual circumstances of each to minimise impact. Any courtesy car or other transport that is needed will be free of charge, as will the repair process itself.

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Chris Lilly

Author:Chris Lilly
Date Updated:25th Nov 2015

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