EPA: VW Fix Could Take Up to a Year

10Golf_TDI_IM.jpg 2010 Volkswagen Golf; | photo by Ian Merritt

It could take up to a year for Volkswagen to develop a remedy for the “defeat device” software in 482,000 vehicles in the U.S. (and another 10.5 million more around the world) that has violated the Clean Air Act, the EPA says.

Related: Volkswagen Diesel Recall: What We Know

The EPA “expects to compel VW to issue a recall in the future,” the agency said. Depending on the repair’s complexity and the parts needed, “it could take up to one year” for VW to identify the problem, plan a response and notify owners, the EPA said.

The agency assured VW diesel owners that it won’t confiscate their vehicles, and said owners don’t have to stop driving them. It said the eventual fix will be free, but owners can’t turn off the defeat device on their own right now, as it’s embedded in software.

A looming question, however, is whether — or how — the software fix will affect engine performance or gas mileage. Spokespeople at the California Air Resources Board and the EPA would not comment, and Volkswagen spokesman John Schilling said it’s “too early to comment on the fix” because the automaker is “still developing” it.

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