Volkswagen Group announced on Wednesday fixes for 1.6- and two-litre EA 189 diesel engines that give false emissions readings, saying it would need all of 2016 to carry out the recalls. The measures are for Europe only and do not apply to US models.
A fix for the 1.2-litre diesel will be presented to the Federal Motor Transport Authority by the end of the month and is expected to comprise a software update.
A "flow transformer" will be fitted directly in front of the air mass sensor on the 1.6-litre EA 189 engine. This is a mesh that calms the swirled air flow and will improve the measuring accuracy of the air mass sensor. A software update will also be done in a process expected to take less than an hour.
Two litre engines will get a software update taking around half an hour.
"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," VW said in a statement.
"The Volkswagen brand will ensure that all customers are offered appropriate replacement mobility options free of charge," the automaker said.
Audi, Seat, Škoda and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles are planning similar recalls for their affected vehicles.
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Volkswagen spokeswoman Jeannine Ginivan told USA Today the company's proposed remedy for vehicles in the US is different. Regulators at the US Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board are currently reviewing that plan before it is publicly revealed.