2015 Porsche Cayenne DieselEnlarge Photo
Lawyers for Volkswagen told a California court Thursday that the automaker may be able to fix illegally polluting cars and SUVs equipped with its 3.0-liter V-6 turbodiesel engine.
Owners of the affected cars—which include Volkwagen Touareg SUVs; Audi A6, A7, A8, Q5, and Q7 sedans and SUVs; and Porsche Cayenne SUVs—may not know for months what will happen to their vehicles, Reuters reported.
United States District Court Judge Charles Breyer set a status hearing on August 25 for the automaker and federal regulators to update the court on progress toward a fix.
This week, Volkswagen announced it would buy back more than 450,000 cars equipped with its 2.0-liter turbodiesel 4-cylinder in the U.S. after it likely determined it couldn't fix those cars while maintaining the original levels of performance.
A lawyer for Volkswagen told the court that may not be the case for the bigger engines.
"The company believes that we can fix the 3.0-liter to the standards to which those cars were originally certified," VW lawyer Robert Giuffra said, according to Reuters.
Last November, the EPA notified parent-company Volkswagen—which also makes Audi and Porsche vehicles—that its 3.0-liter diesel engine could pollute up to nine times the legal limit if its cars weren't running in a "temperature conditioning" mode that was triggered by the EPA's test. In its call, the EPA noted that the mode was timed to the test. The regulatory agency determined that the mode was an undisclosed Auxiliary Emissions Control Device and promptly ordered the automaker to take action.
Shockingly, VW initially rebuffed the claims by the EPA, then admitted that its bigger V-6 cars illegally polluted and pulled those cars from dealer lots.
Buying back those cars could add billions more to the $15 billion landmark settlement announced this week.
History may not be on Volkswagen's side, however. Months before announcing the buyback, environmental officials rejected a proposed fix for the smaller, 2.0-liter diesel cars.
Only time will tell if a solution can be found to make the V-6 diesels compliant.