The VW recall is speculated to be hard to sell: By “fixing” the cars’ emissions cheating device will also bring down their performance and their mileage. A VW diesel Passat owner who takes their car in to get “fixed” will drive off the service center lot in a gass-guzzling, slower vehicle. Some eco-loyal owners will happily do it to be environmentally “green.” According to past statistics with other auto recalls, most owners will be tempted to keep putting off making that appointment.
Emissions regulations are a government mandate, not something left up to individual car owners. When a car manufacturer officially certifies a car to meet federal emissions standards; the states also test cars’ emissions, in person, one at a time. If your car doesn’t pass the test, you can’t register it.
The California Air Resources Board has pounced on this debacle. Since CA has strict emissions rules, some anticipate the state (and other strict states) may start refusing to re-certify the affected VWs already driving down the road. It wouldn’t be surprising if a rule is announced that the affected VW cars will not be allowed to take the emissions test without proving they have been fixed. Roughly 60k of the vehicles affected by the dirty emissions scandal were sold in California.
In November 2015, VW submitted its recall plan to the California Air Resources Board and federal counterparts. This occurred approximately two months after the scandal first broke loose across the world. VW providing a detailed plan to fix the 482k diesel cars listed in the September 18th Notice of Violation issued by the EPA.
VW said they will do whatever is required to work with the regulators to remedy this situation once and for all.