It might not be possible for the company to fix the oldest versions of these engines.
Audi may buy back 25,000 vehicles with Volkswagen Group’s emissions-cheating 3.0-liter V6 TDI engine in the United States. According to Automotive News citing a report by Der Spiegel, the automaker now allegedly believes that it’s not possible to make earlier examples of the powerplant compliant with pollution regulations. A court hearing on November 3 could bring the first official details about the rumored campaign.
There are around 85,000 vehicles in the U.S with the 3.0 TDI, which means VW Group allegedly can’t find a way to make around a third of them meet emissions rules. The affected models available with this engine in America are:
- 2009-2016 VW Touareg
- 2013-2016 Porsche Cayenne
- 2014-2016 Audi A6
- 2014-2016 Audi A7
- 2014-2016 Audi A8 (including the A8L)
- 2014-2016 Audi Q5
- 2009-2016 Audi Q7
The Environmental Protection Agency initially only published a violation order for vehicles with this engine from the 2014-2016 model years. The regulator found that one second after the length of the normal emissions test that the powerplant’s software allowed it to produce higher amounts of nitrogen oxide. VW Group quickly admitted that the problem dated back to the 2009MY.
VW Group attempted to create a repair for the problem, but regulators rejected the fix. In its report, the California Air Resources Board called the proposal “incomplete and deficient in a number of areas." The agency also complained that the automaker didn’t provide enough evidence that this solution actually worked.
The company has been working on another way to mend the problem that should be ready in late October or early November. It’s possible this repair could be part of the discussion at the November 3 hearing.
VW Group already likely needs to spend $10.03 billion to buy back 475,000 vehicles with the 2.0-liter four-cylinder TDI engine in the U.S. The judge hearing the case recently said that he was “strongly inclined” to approve that campaign. The company has continued to work on a way to fix them for customers keeping the affected models, but so far there hasn’t been an approved solution.
While there are fewer total vehicles with the 3.0 TDI in the U.S, they generally sold for more than models with the 2.0-liter diesel. If there’s a buyback for the V6, the campaign could be another expense in the billions for the automotive giant.
Source: Automotive News