DETROIT (Reuters) -- The California Air Resources Board (CARB) said it rejected Volkswagen Group's plan to fix 2.0-liter diesel cars with software that allow them to emit up to 40 times legally allowable pollution.
The state said VW's proposed fix was "incomplete, substantially deficient and falls far short of meeting the legal requirements." In a statement on Tuesday it also said the fix was not fast enough.
California sent VW a confidential letter offering a detailed explanation of why its plan does not work. It said it will continue its investigation and carry on talks with VW to find a fix.
VW said in a statement that said the rejection addresses the initial recall plans submitted to California in December. "Since then, Volkswagen has had constructive discussions with CARB, including last week when we discussed a framework" to address the issue, it said.
CARB did not assess any immediate penalties but it issued a new notice that VW had violated California air quality regulations.
VW CEO Matthias Mueller is meeting with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief Gina McCarthy on Wednesday to discuss the emissions scandal that impacts nearly 600,000 vehicles in the U.S. and up to 11 million vehicles worldwide.
The EPA said in a statement that it agrees with California "that Volkswagen has not submitted an approvable recall plan to bring the vehicles into compliance and reduce pollution. EPA has conveyed this to the company previously."
VW said it is "committed to working cooperatively with CARB and other regulators, and we plan to continue our discussions tomorrow when we meet with the EPA."
VW officials have expressed optimism for winning approval of a plan soon to fix the vehicles. They face a separate Feb. 2 deadline to submit a plan to fix 80,000 larger Porsche, Audi and VW 3.0-liter vehicles.
Separately, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam said he met in Washington on Monday with Muller. VW has an assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee. "They are preparing for the conversations with EPA," Haslam said Tuesday in a Reuters interview on the sidelines of the Detroit auto show. "We obviously have a keen interest in getting their legal issues solved so they can go back to selling cars."
Haslam said he is "really concerned that Volkswagen not be punished beyond what is happening in other cases involving manufacturers."