Volkswagen will be selling diesels again in the U.S., but don't expect to find any 2017s. Bloomberg reports VW has just been cleared to sell 2015-model-year TDIs, including the Golf, Jetta, Passat, and Beetle equipped with the 2.0-liter engine. The no-longer-new-but-never-titled cars have been gathering dust on dealership lots since the diesel crisis broke out in September 2015.
A software update will be required, after which dealers can sell the cars at prices that'll probably be favorable to diesel fans who need wheels, or those who want to own one of the last VW diesels shipped to the U.S.
The most surprising aspect of this move by the (new and somewhat different) EPA to clear some 12,000 vehicles for sale is that fact that dealers won't have to wait until the second part of the technical fix — the hardware — becomes available. The hardware parts won't be provided to dealers until early 2018, Bloomberg reports, when that portion of the diesel fix is expected to be cleared by the EPA and manufactured for the new and used vehicles. It is expected that buyers of the 2015 diesels will have to bring their cars into dealerships to receive the hardware fix sometime next year.
The expected clearance of the 2015-model-year diesels will also apply to certified used TDIs, which dealerships have also been prohibited from selling since September 2015 (and which may need some recommissioning work if they have been off the road for that long).
This move by the EPA does not mean that Volkswagen will bring back other TDI models — the green light is only meant to let dealers release their inventory. Volkswagen stated late last year that it will not sell diesels in the U.S. in the foreseeable future, though Audi left the door open for at least one 3.0-liter diesel model.