Volkswagen has come up with a plastic technical fix for its 1.6 liter TDI engines in the wake of the so-called “Dieselgate” scandal surrounding emissions from the German group's diesel engines.
VW announced on Nov. 25 that it has presented technical measures for EA 189 diesel engines to the German Federal Motor Transport Authority as a “next step in solving the NOx exhaust emissions issue in Europe.”
VW claims to have solved the emission problem with just a software update on the 2.0 liter engine. However, for the 1.6 liter engine it has had to apply not only a software update, but also to develop a piece of hardware called a “flow transformer” or “flow straightener.”
A VW video of the part shows that it is in the form of a tube with a grid at one end that is mounted at the air intake of the air filter to reduce swirling air turbulence. This increases accuracy of the air mass sensor, a component that provides for optimum combustion through determination of air mass throughput.
The video shows a part that is clearly in plastic, with a rough finish. Manager of VW product communication Pietro Zollino told Plastics News Europe that the part has been produced by 3-D printing as a prototype. He said that this was necessary in order to have a rapid solution that could be presented to the regulator for approval.
Once approval has been obtained, VW will then start on the procurement process of how the part will be produced in serial production, in which material, by which process and by which supplier or suppliers.
In the video there is a demonstration of fitting the device at the air intake point of a Mann+Hummel plastic-housed filter unit. VW says it takes no more than one hour to fit the flow transformer and to update the software.
Automotive industry expert Ferdinand Dudenhöffer of the CAR institute at Duisburg University told the ARD German TV station news program that the relatively easy solutions for the 1.6 and 2.0 liter TDI engines should not cost VW more than 500 million euros, far less than had been originally feared. In the news report on Nov. 25 he suggested that VW's shares would continue their present recovery path on the stock exchange.