Volkswagen Drags Its Heels on a 3.0-liter Diesel Fix, Frustrated Judge Issues a Deadline
Volkswagen continues to claim that with enough time, it can figure out a way to fix 85,000 high-end diesel vehicles in the U.S. without having to buy them back. There’s a problem, though. Time is running out.
After the presiding over yesterday’s settlement deal between Volkswagen and its dealers, a U.S. District Court judge gave the automaker two months to submit a fix for its 3.0-liter TDI models, Reuters reports.
Volkswagen claims the fix is doable, but Judge Charles Breyer has heard this before. In June, the automaker said it was close to a fix for the defeat-device equipped VW, Porsche and Audi vehicles. That fix was soundly rejected by the California Air Resources Board in July, with the regulator calling it “incomplete and deficient in a number of areas.”
Any fix needs the approval of both CARB and the Environmental Protection Agency, so it was back to the ol’ drawing board. Breyer calls the current situation “intolerable,” and wants the dirty diesels off the road.
The automaker now has until late October to submit a fix, and was ordered by Breyer to start settlement talks. According to the report, Breyer said that Volkswagen must repair the vehicles, buy them back or offer both options. The latter option is the basis of the automaker’s $15.3 billion settlement for its 2.0-liter diesels.
With that deal weighing it down, as well as yesterday’s estimated $1.2 billion dealer settlement and looming civil lawsuits and fines, Volkswagen desperately wants to avoid more expenses. Buying back 85,000 luxury vehicles would be extremely costly.
Breyer wants an update on the settlement talks at a November 3 hearing, though the automaker still claims it can fix the vehicles. Its lawyer, Robert Giuffra, said yesterday, “We’ve got to persuade the government that we have a fix.” He added that the issue involves “two million lines of code.”
Any fix will include both software updates and modifications to the vehicles’ emissions equipment, the automaker said.
[Image: Audi AG]
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- Jeffrey No tis vehicle doen't need to come to America. The market if flooded in this segment what we need are fun affordable vehicles.
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- Lou_BC "15mpg EPA" The 2023 ZR2 Colorado is supposed to be 16 mpg
- ToolGuy "The more aerodynamic, organic shape of the Mark VIII meant ride height was slightly lower than before at 53.6 inches, over 54.2” for the Mark VII."• I am not sure that ride height means what you think it means.Elaboration: There is some possible disagreement about what "ride height" refers to. Some say ground clearance, some say H point (without calling it that), some say something else. But none of those people would use a number of over 4 feet for a stock Mark anything.Then you go on to use it correctly ("A notable advancement in the Mark VIII’s suspension was programming to lower the ride height slightly at high speeds, which assisted fuel economy via improved aerodynamics.") so what do I know. Plus, I ended a sentence with a preposition. 🙂
If VW wasn't able to solve the technical issues during the prior 4 year development cycle and had to use a by-passing cheat, what good will another 2 months or even 2 years be? Please just buy back all the affected cars, take whatever length of time to fix them and sell them as used cars once they are fixed, or choose to crash them if that's cheaper.
As someone who has owned 6 Audis over the past 16 years, currently including a 2015 Q5 3.0TDi, it has been a bit demoralizing to watch VAG drag its feet in this situation. I really don't think they anticipated the big hammer brought down on them by CARB and the EPA. More likely, they expected that if caught, they'd get a slap on the wrist and a fine, but that then they'd be allowed to move forward. The real shame of the situation is that as a result, we're not likely to see more turbo-diesels in the US in passenger vehicles. From a functional/performance point of view, the 3.0 TDi motor is a masterpiece, proving bucket loads of smooth, quiet, fuel efficient performance that's perfectly suited to US driving conditions. Our Q5 can hit 60 mph in less than 6 seconds, tow 7700 lbs (!!) and has averaged 31 mpg (!!!) in 25k miles since new. And all the while, whatever emissions it and other TDIs produce is a drop in the bucket in comparison with the diesels in all the heavy-duty applications in this country. While I understand the implications of the "cheat" with regards to regulations, it does seem to me that when it comes to true environmental concerns, in this case the EPA is missing the forest for the trees...