Concerns about the German car manufacturers’ 2.0-litre engines could soon be sorted, but the discovery of the hidden software has thrown the future of 3.0-litre diesels into uncertainty.
That secret software in Volkswagen’s 3.0-litre diesels can turn off the vehicles’ emissions controls. The emissions control system allegedly shuts off after 22 minutes, when most emissions tests take about 20.
If this software exists, then it will be under the bonnet of all 3.0-litre diesels that Volkswagen sells in the US. This includes the Audi Q7, Volkswagen Touareg and Porsche Cayenne SUVs. Approximately 85,000 of these cars are roaming around the US, and they’re already under scrutiny for some software that VW “forgot” to tell regulators about.
Audi said in an emailed statement: “We continue to work closely with the EPA and CARB to try to secure approval of a technical resolution for affected vehicles with 3.0L V6 TDI engines as quickly as possible. An updated proposal is undergoing thorough testing and analysis and we intend to submit this to the regulators in August. The Court has instructed the parties to report on the status of these discussions on August 25.”
Previously, Volkswagen said it believed the 3.0-litre diesel issue could be solved with a software fix. Its 3.0-litre issues are being dealt with separately to its 2.0-litre diesels, which are covered under its $15 billion settlement with US authorities, which will include buybacks and one-time cash payments.
Volkswagen first ended up in this situation after it admitted to intentionally installing secret software in its 2.0-litre diesels. That software curtailed nitrogen oxide emissions in lab-testing environments, but once on the road, the diesels would pollute well in excess of legal limitations. It was allegedly used in response to ever-stricter emissions regulations.