By on November 23, 2015

2014 audi a6 tdi side

Audi, a brand within Volkswagen Group that markets the majority of 3-liter diesel engines sold by the group in the United States, released a statement Monday detailing how it plans to fix vehicles that use a defeat device. The automaker also stated that three separate Auxiliary Emissions Control Devices — not just one — are used in 2009 and later 3-liter diesels used by Audi, Volkswagen (Touareg) and Porsche (Cayenne).

AECDs for those engines will “be revised, documented and submitted for approval,” Audi said in the statement.

Of the three AECDs, the EPA questioned the legality of a temperature conditioning procedure of the exhaust-gas cleaning system.

“One of (the AECDs) is regarded as a defeat device according to applicable US law. Specifically, this is the software for the temperature conditioning of the exhaust-gas cleaning system,” Audi said in a statement.

The other two AECDs are for the avoidance of deposits on the Ad-Blue metering valve and of HC poisoning of the SCR catalyst with unburnt hydrocarbons,” according to Audi.

None of the AECDs specified by the automaker Monday were adequately documented or declared by Audi in its application for U.S. approval.

The software responsible for the AECDs will be updated and the appropriate documentation submitted to the EPA for approval. Audi did not specify how that software would be updated, though the removal of the illegal temperature conditioning program is likely while the other AECDs could remain.

Audi expects the fixes to cost “in the mid-double-digit millions of euros.”

The stop sale of affected models will continue until further notice. Those models include the Audi A6, A7, A8, Q5 and Q7 from model years 2009 and later, the Volkswagen Touareg from model year 2009 and later, and the Porsche Cayenne from model year 2013 and later. Roughly 85,000 cars are affected, according to Reuters.

The diesel emissions scandal began on September 18 when 2-liter Clean Diesel models were found to emit more than 40 times the allowable level of NOx. About 482,000 cars were included in the initial notice by the EPA.

Later, Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche were given a Notice of Violation on November 2 regarding the temperature control device employed by the 3-liter diesel. Volkswagen initially asserted that the AECD in question was legal, even though it was undeclared.

On Friday, Volkswagen revealed the same defeat device was used on all 3-liter diesels from the model year 2009 and later after the EPA had initially only targeted a small number of later model year vehicles.

A fix or fixes for smaller 2-liter diesels were not detailed in the statement.

Click here to follow our ongoing coverage of the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal.

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12 Comments on “BREAKING: Audi Admits to Defeat Device, Details Fix For 3-liter Diesel Engines...”


  • avatar
    wmba

    Cannot get excited by this 3 litre TDI “scandal”. Seems more like a documentation problem than a deliberate scheme to defraud. These things have Adblue/SCR just like the new EA288 diesel, so fixing things to meet the letter of the law is simple.

    The old EA189 is a different matter with its NOx storage filter that obviously is about 100% useless and fails if run in test mode continuously. Piech and Winterkorn screwed the pooch on that one – they’re the ones who should be in solitary confinement eating German Railway restaurant dumplings three times a day for the rest of their lives.

    • 0 avatar
      sirwired

      Well, I think the issue isn’t so much the severity of this violation. (For any other company, this would be a couple of press releases and a small fine.) The real issue is that VW was already in superheated hot-water with the EPA, and picking a fight with them over a handful even more vehicles was precisely the Wrong Thing To Do.

      They should have been falling all over themselves to do whatever the EPA asked… this is kinda what you are supposed to do when a government regulator is hopping mad with you. (Ever notice that after a company gets hit with a big recall scandal, the company starts issuing recall notices for every little thing that in ordinary times would be ignored? That’s because when the Eye of Mordor… errr… regulators is trained your way, trying to garner even more attention is not a good idea.)

      • 0 avatar
        wmba

        Well, VW/Audi fought this one because they knew they did not have larceny in their hearts on the 3 litre diesel. They have relented now for the very reasons you state – don’t piss off city hall when you’ve already admitted guilt on a similar but different matter.

        So now we have blurred responsibility and an imperfect outcome – by dint of bullying and the threat of bringing down Thor’s hammer, guilt is being admitted when no real transgression occurred. Is that justice? I prefer to think it’s the American way, and why 97% of criminal cases are won by the prosecution – they get you on something or other even if it’s not the original charge. State bullying that you cannot overcome so you accept “punishment” in the hope that Big Bro doesn’t diss you completely in a fit of pique on the other charges.

        • 0 avatar
          sirwired

          Unless VW had a different (and less arrogant) set of engineers talking with the EPA about the 3L TDI’s vs. the 4-cyl. ones, VW’s credibility with the EPA is indistinguishable from zero.

          I think the EPA could be forgiven for not believing VW when they said that the 3L TDI’s were as pure as the new-driven snow when the same company just spent a year trying to tell the EPA that they were a bunch of bumbling morons who couldn’t properly read emissions tests. (And that latter claim, obviously, has proven to be disastrously false.)

          It’s a little silly to be attaching the “bully” label to the EPA here since VW has, indeed, been caught red-handed.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    Finally marginally-sane heads have prevailed and they’ve figured out that this is precisely the WRONG time to be arguing semantics with the EPA over a handful of (relatively) cheap-to-fix cars. (I mean, sales-wise, they were already toxic; so much so that I imagine the stop-sale was almost a moot point.)

    I fear the damage may already be done though… them even offering up token resistance demonstrated to the EPA that they still Just Don’t Get It.

    When the grownups have already caught you red-handed in the proverbial cookie jar, this was the equivalent of scrawling on the wall in crayon after you’ve already been sent to the corner.

    • 0 avatar
      wmba

      I don’t find your analogy particularly good. This isn’t a case of hurling epithets at the EPA immediately after admitting guilt on the EA189. This is on another engine completely and some weeks later.

      Just because you admit guilt on one matter, you’re supposed to admit guilt on another when there’s nothing to apologize for of any substance? Sure, it might be the smart thing to do to minimize damage when Big Brother is annoyed because he cannot comprehend and is on a ball-busting mission, but how can it be right? It’s just a case where one side has all the power, and the accused has to swallow their pride, because yes, they were guilty on something else and are concerned about PR. Justice? I would hope an actual human would not debase themself with such craven behavior.

      • 0 avatar
        Nick Engineer

        @wmba

        But misrepresenting an AECD or omitting its existence in documentation IS a clear violation. The regulatory system we have relies very heavily on self-reporting in order to work. It cannot test all vehicles, verify all ecus, etc. All it can do is random sample testing, and keeping “affidavits” from the manufacturers for what equipment and systems they are using for emissions control. Some of those who are regulated pay very careful attention to the documents they submit precisely for this reason. Regulators are typically very lenient when indeed it turns out the problem is a typo only.

        In essence having a sloppy editing process in your regulatory compliance department necessarily has to be treated as akin to deliberately installing a defeat device. You may call this “unjust” as being only a paper error. But paper is the regulatory system we want, and have.

        For many, regulation is anathema and somewhat of a political pinata. But the reality is someone needs to be there to guard the children.

    • 0 avatar
      ZCD2.7T

      “…sales-wise, they were already toxic…”?

      Not sure where you live, but here in the Midwest, a large percentage of the Q7s and a decent percentage of the Q5s I see around are TDis.

      There aren’t that many A6/A7 TDis on dealer lots, but those that were there didn’t stay long.

      And “cheat” or not, those 3.0TDi owners LOVE their cars – the torque is totally addictive. 0-60 in less than 6 seconds combined with 30+ mpg?? Yes, please!

      Signed – Q5 TDi owner.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Audi is VW.

    Einhorn is Finkle! Finkle is Einhorn!

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    I fought the law and the law won…

  • avatar
    Paddan

    Truth In Engineering.

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