Audi develops fix for 3.0-liter TDI engines
Software solution for 85,000 vehicles to be presented for approval
Audi has announced a fix to correct the software in some 85,000 vehicles, some of which were initially named in a Notice of Violation (NOV) issued by the EPA at the beginning of the month, Automotive News Europe reports. The action follows the reveal of a number of technical solutions to German regulators last week, with VW AG announcing that it was presenting for approval the required modifications for a number of diesel engines.
“Audi will revise, document in detail, and resubmit for US approval certain parameters of the engine-management software used in the V6 TDI 3 liter diesel engine,” the automaker said in a statement. “That is the result of the discussions held between a delegation from AUDI AG and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB). The updated software will be installed as soon as it is approved by the authorities. The three brands Audi, Porsche and Volkswagen are affected. Audi estimates that the related expense will be in the mid-double-digit millions of euros.”
Audi had initially denied that the 3.0-liter diesel engines, offered in a number of models in North America, contained any kind of software that acted as a “defeat device,” but had nevertheless halted sales of new and used models that feature that engine. The affected models include the A6, A7, A8, A8L, Q5 and Q7 models from the 2009 through the 2016 model year, along with the Porsche Cayenne Diesel and the Volkswagen Touareg TDI.
The automaker now plans to submit new applications to the EPA and California’s Air Resources Board, as well as implement the fix itself via software in the affected cars.
Audi also shed light on the Auxiliary Emission Control Devices (AECDs) which the EPA had earlier labeled “defeat devices,” confirming that the tech was part of a “warmup strategy” for the catalyst in the 3-liter emissions control system, and was thus completely different from the emissions-cheating software found in the 2.0-liter VW engines.
“One of the AECDs relates to the temperature conditioning of the exhaust‑gas cleaning system,” Audi stated. “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. One of them 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.”
If the proposed fix is approved, Audi will implement it in the models whose sales have been halted, as well as those that have already been sold as part of a recall. The company expects the eventual cost to update all 85,000 vehicles to be approximately $53 million, and it’s expected to involve only software, as opposed to hardware and software solutions that are now being contemplated by VW for its 2.0-liter diesel engines.
“Audi has agreed with the environmental authorities on further steps of cooperation in which the concrete measures to be taken will be specified,” the company stated. “The company has committed to continue cooperating transparently and fully. The focus will be on finding quick, uncomplicated and customer-friendly solutions. The voluntary sales stop for models with the V6 TDI diesel engine, which the three affected Group brands had provisionally decided upon, has been extended until further notice.”
The automaker has not announced a timeline for the recall procedures since the solution still has to be approved by regulators.