Audi will develop a software update for the emissions control system on Volkswagen Group’s 3.0 TDI V6 and will submit the changes to the Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board for approval. If the government regulators accept it, the tweaks could end the emissions problems for an estimated 85,000 of these engines in the US in Audi, Porsche, and VW models. However, the stop-sale still covers these vehicles until further notice.
Audi admits in its statement to failing to disclose three “auxiliary emission control devices” on the V6 to regulators, and US law considers one of these systems a defeat device. VW Group offered the engine in the US on the Audi A6, A7, A8, Q5, and Q7 since the 2009 model year. The mill was also available on the VW Touareg and Porsche Cayenne.
The EPA filed a violation against the 3.0 TDI on November 2 because the agency reported that the engine’s software contained a defeat device to circumvent emissions tests. The regulator recently extended that notice to cover these powerplants in the US from the 2009 to 2016 model years.
Audi’s statement vaguely estimates the price of this problem to be in the “mid-double-digit millions of euros,” and the automaker could face financial punishment by regulators. “Determinations regarding potential penalties and other remedies will be assessed as part of the investigation EPA has opened in conjunction with the US Department of Justice,” an EPA spokesperson told Automotive News.
Statement on Audi’s discussions with the US environmental authorities EPA and CARB
Auxiliary emission control devices (AECD) for US version of V6 TDI 3 liter engine to be revised, documented and submitted for approval
Technical solution for North America versions from 2009 model year onwards to be worked out in conjunction with the authorities
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. 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.
The latest discussions focused on a notice of violation of November 2, in which Audi was informed that AECDs (Auxiliary Emission Control Devices) were not sufficiently described and declared in the application for US type approval. That will now be done with the updated software and the documentation.
Audi has confirmed that three AECDs were not declared in the context of the US approval documentation. One of the AECDs relates to the temperature conditioning of the exhaust‑gas cleaning system. 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.
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 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.
This engine was developed by Audi and is used in the Audi US models A6, A7, A8, Q5 and Q7 from model year 2009 onwards. Volkswagen uses the engine in the Touareg and Porsche has used it in the Cayenne since model year 2013. All affected models continue to be safe and roadworthy.