By on June 30, 2016

Porsche cayenne diesel

Good news, owners of Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche models powered by a 3.0-liter TDI engine — your heavily polluting diesel probably won’t have to be bought back and scrapped.

A lawyer for the automaker said in court today that Volkswagen believes the 85,000 vehicles can be cleaned up with a not-too-complicated fix, Reuters reports.

If true, it means reduced future costs for a company that’s already agreed to shell out $15.3 billion in the U.S. to settle its diesel emissions scandal fallout. It also means those oil-burning Cayennes can continue to impress their owners’ neighbours.

In his court statement, lawyer Robert Giuffra said, “The company believes that we can fix the 3.0 liter to the standards to which those cars were originally certified.”

Months of meetings and tests are required before Volkswagen can begin repairing the afflicted models. The tests, said to be especially rigorous, have to prove that any proposed fix holds up over time.

The 3.0-liter TDI engines aren’t as polluting as the 2.0-liter units doomed to the scrap heap, emitting only nine times the allowable level of nitrous oxide emissions, rather than (up to) 40 times. Volkswagen used a different “defeat device” for the 3.0-liters, meaning less drastic measures are needed to bring the engine into compliance.

In May, sources close to the case said the fix will probably be in the form of new software, though there’s a possibility of a catalytic converter swap.

On June 28, Volkswagen agreed to pay just over $10 billion to buy back or fix about 475,000 VW and Audi  vehicles equipped with 2.0-liter diesel engines, and compensate their owners. Another $4.7 billion was split between an environmental fund for pollution-reducing programs and its own zero-emission vehicle development plans.

A further $603 million went to settle lawsuits in 44 U.S.  states, bringing the tally to $15.3 billion.

[Image: Porsche Cars North America]

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12 Comments on “Volkswagen is Pretty Sure it Can Fix Those 3.0-Liter Diesels...”

  • avatar
    Piston Slap Yo Mama

    I’m curious how diesel automotive sales are performing as this imbroglio continues … imbroglio-ing. If a rising tide lifts all ships, is this draining the ocean? I know Honda and Mazda have rethought diesels in America lately, much to my sadness as a rental diesel Civic in Europe had me quite chuffed at the seemingly imminent arrival of them stateside.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I believe Mazda’s diesels had a problem with fuel mixing with the oil, resulting in Bad Things. I don’t think their problems were directly emissions-related.

      But perhaps the fuel-oil issue was due to trying to meet US emissions rules.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I wasn’t even aware the Macan was available with the diesel.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    If the 3.0 fix is that simple, the VW just looks dumb for having cheated on these to begin with.

  • avatar

    Sure, they can probably fix it, but how much additional DEF fluid will we be burning through? More important, will the performance, fuel economy and/or long term durability be negatively impacted?

    • 0 avatar
      Piston Slap Yo Mama

      EXCELLENT point. Manufacturers making substantial changes to a car once you’ve bought it that decreases its longevity/performance/efficiency/resale is f-r-a-u-d. My Honda Insight initially got 70mpg hwy, 60 city before Honda called them back for an “ECM Update” which was in actuality a new BCM / battery control module. They substantially tweaked the settings to use much less hybrid amperage both for acceleration and regeneration – ostensibly to increase the life span of the nickel-metal-hydride battery pack. The efficiency and sportiness that I paid for … vanished. And I still had a battery failure one month out of warranty that cost me $2700 to rectify.

    • 0 avatar

      It should chew through about two times as much. My 2011 Touareg TDI has been using 1.22% of DEF to fuel. Typical diesel engines use about 3% DEF/fuel. This also means that the tank won’t be big enough and we will have to get DEF topped up between services.

      There have also already been SCR failures at moderate mileages, so the extra wear on the catalyst is likely to be a factor. I don’t care if there’s a buyback or not, but I want a compensation for the massive drop in value due to this fraud.

  • avatar

    A couple years back, when I was shopping for a new Q7, everyone and their brother kept saying “The diesel is so cool, get the diesel”. I got the EXCELLENT 3.0T GASOLINE engine and am now laughing all the way to the bank.

  • avatar

    As I stated a couple weeks ago on here, Death Of Diesel = Olds + VW + EPA.

    Any wonder what will happen to normal ICE cars when, not if, emissions and CAFE regs become too onerous? The Malaise Era will look like heaven compared to what’s coming next!

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