Will a Volkswagen upgrade lower my car’s emissions?

A free emissions systems upgrade was likely not enough

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From the December 2015 issue of the magazine.

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“I brought my 2015 VW Passat diesel in for a free emissions system upgrade last spring, long before the news about how Volkswagen cheated on emissions tests became public. Does that mean my car is safe for the environment?”

—Joe P., Kelowna, B.C.

Volkswagen began a couple of emissions-related recall campaigns for its two-litre diesel engines at the end of 2014, after meetings with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It turns out these campaigns were intended, at least partially, to throw the government off VW’s trail. It took an additional five months for the State of California’s Air Resources Board to discover the recalled vehicles were still emitting more pollution than permitted. More than likely, your vehicle will require further modification. VW has promised to begin implementing a fix in January 2016. In the interim, owners of the 2009–2015 vehicles with the two-litre diesel should make sure VW has their current contact information for owner notifications.

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