Volkswagen AG is getting ready to detail how it intends to repair the diesel-powered cars that pollute more than allowed and who sparked the largest crisis in the 78-year history of the German carmaker.
But the planned solutions might get thwarted by some of the users in the United States that would be reluctant to bring their cars in during the recall and can’t even be forced by regulators. The cars involved in the scandal, almost half a million VW and Audi-branded cars are considered fuel efficient and fun to drive by their owners. And since experts and analysts believe the fixes might bring drops in performance and fuel economy, certain drivers might decline – even as their cars can produce up to 40 times to smog-producing emissions allowed by law. If they opt for the latter stance, there are few levers law enforcers can pull.
For example, there are three states where the bulk of offending VW diesel cars are located California, Texas and Florida. Only the first has laws that permit blocking the registration renewal of cars that don’t comply with recalls. And in Texas and Florida there aren’t even standards for diesel vehicle emissions. The Environmental Protection Agency says only 17 states in the US are compelled by the Clean Air Act to prove that owners of a car subjected to a campaign have complied. “There is no enforcement mechanism that is tied to the consumer’s ability to continue driving the vehicle,” comments Jared Allen, a spokesman with the National Auto Dealers Association, adding such legislation loopholes are the reason behind the nationwide recall completion rate’s hover at 70 percent.