Following what seems like months of frequently ill-informed but highly emotive press criticism of their apparent misdeeds over falsified diesel emissions, on November 25, 2015 the Volkswagen Group announced that their outline fix package for the 1.6 and 2-litre versions of these engines had been presented to, and ratified by, the German Federal Motor Transport Authority. A proposed fix for the 1.2 litre version will also be presented to the Federal Motor Transport Authority by the end of November. Although the fixes announced refer only to VW branded cars, corresponding fixes are planned for the other affected brands in the Volkswagen Group empire, namely Audi, Seat, Skoda & Volkswagen Commercial vehicles.
So what do the fixes involve? After all the hype and hysteria, they seem to be relatively minor. The best-selling 2-litre engine gets only a software update, needing only around 30 minutes of labour to carry out. A software update will also be carried out on 1.6 litre engines, however in this case additional parts will need to be fitted, specifically a ‘flow transformer’ will need to be fitted into the air intake.
This flow transformer, or straightener, will be fitted directly in front of the air mass sensor on the 1.6-litre EA 189 engine only. Essentially, it is a mesh that calms the swirled air flow in front of the air mass sensor and is intended to significantly 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.
The time needed for the implementation of the corrective measures on each 1.6 litre engine is expected to be less than one hour.
The final technical solution for the 1.2-litre 3-cylinder diesel engine is also expected to comprise only a software update.
Based on these technical measures, as now accepted by the Federal Motor Transport Authority, the necessary recall programmes for affected vehicles are currently being developed for all European markets. VW’s aim is to start reworking vehicles from January 2016, with all affected vehicles being reworked by the end of 2016.
Volkswagen have committed to ensuring that the time needed to implement the above technical measures is as short as possible for all customers. In addition, Volkswagen will contact all customers and endeavour to consider individual customer needs during the implementation of these measures to avoid any disadvantages for the customer such as possible curbing of their mobility. In connection with this, the Volkswagen brand will thus ensure that all customers are offered appropriate replacement mobility options free of charge.
The question in many owners minds will inevitably be “will these changes worsen my fuel consumption?” VW’s position here is that their objective for the development of the technical fixes was 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 performance & economy targets cannot yet be finally confirmed. So owners will unfortunately have to wait and see. ………………
Is your vehicle affected by this action? If you have your 17-character Vehicle Identification Number you can check for yourself and obtain clear information at www.volkswagen.de/info
Important: readers in the USA & Canada please note that the announced fixes refer only to cars sold in Europe – affected cars in North America and Canada are specifically excluded from this activity.