September 29, 2015 — Reuters reports that Volkswagen (VW) has announced plans to recall and retrofit up to 11 million cars with illegal software designed to cheat emissions tests.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the company’s new CEO Matthias Müller said a team put together “a comprehensive action plan” to inform customers about fixing their vehicles.
The repair will involve a software update — a simple fix in Europe, where emissions laws for nitrogen oxide (NOx) are less strict than in the United States.
However, the announced fix will apply only to vehicles sold and tested for emissions in the European Union — not the 482,000 vehicles in the U.S., according to the Los Angeles Times.
Vehicles in the U.S. will have to meet stricter emissions standards set by state and federal agencies. Company spokeswoman Jeannine Ginivan said, “For the U.S. we are still diligently working with EPA and CARB for a remedy agreed upon by all parties.”
VW may have go do much more than a software update to retrofit cars in the U.S. The problem is that there is a trade-off between performance and emissions. Reducing emissions on the road could also reduce fuel-efficiency and impact resale value.