Car Industry

VW and the feds might miss yet another Dieselgate 'deadline'

A judge gave both parties an extra month to reach a conclusion, but it appears that might not be enough time.


It's yet another red light in a case that feels like it will last until the heat death of the universe.

Julian Stratenschulte/dpa/Corbis

Volkswagen and federal regulators (namely the EPA) had until March 24 to come to a conclusion on how to address hundreds of thousands of over-polluting diesels on US roads. That didn't happen, and so both parties were given an extra month to come to terms. Now, it sounds like we're going to have a repeat of what happened in March.

When the first deadline passed, US District Judge Charles Breyer pushed the deadline back from March 24 to April 21. Reuters reports that EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy is unsure that the new deadline will be met. VW and the feds only need to reach a deal on how to fix affected vehicles, rather than settling the $46 billion lawsuit currently hanging over VW's head.

"Volkswagen continues to work cooperatively with EPA and CARB to resolve these issues as quickly as possible," Volkswagen said in an emailed statement. "We are committed to regaining the trust of our customers and dealers and will continue to cooperate with all relevant government agencies." The EPA declined to comment for this story.

The issue started in September 2015, when Volkswagen admitted to using software that would show legal emissions levels in lab testing, only to have its vehicles over-pollute once out on the road. In some cases, emissions were 40 times higher than legally permissible. It's unclear what will happen if a conclusion is not reached by April 21.