Auto Tech

Volkswagen pulls diesels from 2016 model year lineup

In response to the scandal over its diesel car emissions, Volkswagen withdraws its application to the EPA to certify its 2016 model year diesel vehicles in the US.

2015 VW Golf TDI engine
Volkswagen will not sell any 2016 model year TDI models with this engine until it comes up with a fix that passes EPA certification. Antuan Goodwin/CNET

While Volkswagen works out a fix for the diesel emissions problems uncovered last month, the company will not include models equipped with diesel engines among its 2016 model year offerings.

The revelation occurred during testimony today by Volkswagen Group of America President Michael Horn before congress, in which he said "we have withdrawn the application for certification of our model year 2016 vehicles," referring to emissions certification of diesel vehicles by the EPA. The result of that withdrawn application effectively precludes Volkswagen from selling its 2016 model year diesel vehicles, designated as TDI.

Volkswagen gained many fans of its TDI diesel vehicles, as they showed better fuel economy than equivalent gasoline-fueled cars on the highway. But last month Volkswagen admitted to rigging its emissions testing, engaging a different engine program when its vehicles were hooked up to testing equipment than when they were driven normally on the road. Estimates suggest that emissions on the road could have been 40 times worse than in the testing environment.

In his testimony, Horn said the problem applied to three generations of its 2-liter diesel engines. Those engines have been used in models such as the Golf and Jetta . Volkswagen will continue to sell its Touareg SUV with a 3-liter diesel engine, as that model passes EPA certification.

Volkswagen had already halted its current TDI sales as the scandal surfaced. Horn said that the company was currently working with the EPA on a solution. Once enacted and the company reapplies for certification, it could begin sales of its 2016 model year TDI cars.

Editor's note: This article was updated to reflect continuing availability of Volkswagen's 3-liter diesel engine.