The Gen 1 Clean Diesel TDI Fix Explained

VW has finally settled on a fix for the Gen. 1 TDI clean diesel engines. If you were one of the 270,000 affected TDI owners who kept their vehicles, read below for details.
What vehicles are eligible for this fix?

-VW Jetta TDI (Model Years 2009-2014)
-VW Jetta SportWagen TDI (Model Years 2009-2014)
-VW Golf TDI (Model Years 2010-2014)
-VW Beetle TDI and VW Beetle Convertible TDI (Model Years 2012-2014)
-Audi A3 TDI (2010-2013)

What’s the Fix?

The fix involves a software adjustment and a swap of the NOx Reduction Catalyst with a more effective unit. 2009 vehicles will receive a new diesel particulate filter as well as a new CAT (these are a single unit on ’09 cars), along with a new glow plug module. Contrary to many rumors, Adblue systems will not  be added to the vehicles. Overall, the fix should take around three hours for MY 2010 and later vehicles, and about 6 hours for MY 2009 vehicles.

You can schedule appointments to get the fix as soon as August 11th. Letters with more details will be going out to owners shortly.

What Will This Mean for Vehicle Performance?

Volkswagen says:

-Your vehicle will sound louder at moderate engine speeds.
-Your vehicle will perform DPF regens more often.
-Engine torque delivery may seem slightly different at some engine speeds.
-Your vehicle’s fuel economy will decrease by up to 2 mpg, depending on how the vehicle is driven.
-If your vehicle has an emissions problem, changes to the ECU might have made it so these problems are less detectable.

Finally, VW says that overall power will be the same post-fix.

Any differences for Automatic Transmissions?

Fixes to DSG equipped cars include a transmission reflash to improve emissions. VW says the vehicle’s shifting speeds will differ slightly. In normal Drive Mode, the vehicle will shift at higher RPMs during normal acceleration. In Sport Mode, the vehicle will favor lower engine speeds during cruising.

Emissions Changes

The TDI’s emissions improved, but still do not meet the regulations originally set for these vehicles. VW and the EPA have agreed on a fix that reaches a compromise of performance and emissions.

See chart below for manual transmission vehicles. Automatic vehicles will have slightly different emissions.

Extended Emissions Warranty

The emissions warranty will be extended to the greater of:

• 10 years and 6 months or 126,000 miles, whichever occurs first, from the
vehicle’s original in- service date; OR
• 4 years and 6 months or 54,000 miles, whichever occurs first, from the date
and mileage of the emissions modification.

For automatic vehicles, the warranty changes to:

• 10 years or 120,000 miles, whichever occurs first, from the vehicle’s original
in- service date; OR
• 4 years or 48,000 miles, whichever occurs first, from the date and mileage
of the emissions modification.

The emissions warranty includes not only the entire exhaust system, but also the turbocharger and the entire fuel system, including the pump.


Volkswagen has worked effectively with the EPA to improve the emissions profile of the Gen 1 vehicles with only minor hardware and software changes, along with minimal impact on the car’s fuel economy and performance. Durability should be unaffected. Overall this appears to be a good outcome for owners who enjoy their TDIs and want to keep them.



  1. Thank you for distilling this down and sharing with all of the faithful out here. This lifts a veil of uncertainty and hopefully restores some value and confidence in a severely tarnished product.


  2. This fix should end with higher MPG. Not less. Don’t think burning more fuel is effective in lowering emissions.


  3. Jerry – the relation of fuel usage to NOX is actually inverse on Diesel engines. More efficient fuel use due to advanced injection timing increases NOX emissions. The more efficient a Diesel engine is at burning fuel, the more NOX comes out…


  4. Is the particulate filter a part of the exhaust system? I heard the DPF is not included in the extended Emissions Warranty, and it will have to be replaced at 120,000 miles or so. What say you axle chops?


    1. DPF is included in the extended warranty.


  5. What is a “NOx Reduction Catalyst”, is it in addition to the DPF on a 2011 Gen 1, or IS it the DPF?
    Thank you – Adam


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