VW can modify larger-engine diesel cars

Marco Green
October 24, 2017

Volkswagen AG won approval from USA and California environmental regulators for fixes to more than 38,000 diesel-powered vehicles rigged to dupe emissions tests, avoiding the prospect of a more expensive undertaking to repurchase them from aggrieved consumers.

USA regulators have approved a "fix" for 38,000 Volkswagen Auto Group 3.0-liter diesel SUVs, which should clean up some of the hundreds of thousands of deceptive emissions-spewing diesels in the US and potentially save the company $1 billion.

The approval means the German automaker will not need to buy back luxury 2013-2016 model-year diesel Porsche Cayenne, Volkswagen Touareg and 2013-2015 Audi Q7 sport utility vehicles.

Previously, VW agreed to a $1.22 billion settlement to buy back the V6 diesel vehicles and pay the owners who get the vehicles fixed between $8,500 and $17,000.

The company is still waiting on a ruling from the U.S. authorities for approved repairs for about 40,000 cars with 3.0-liter diesel V-6 engines. If regulators hadn't approved the fix, VW would have had to buy back the vehicles. An estimated 80,000 vehicles are equipped with VW's offending 3.0-liter diesels, while a whopping 475,000 have the 2.0-liter diesel engines. Some of the vehicles will receive updated software while others will also have their hardware modified, regulators said.

- It has already paid out more than $23 billion in USA fines and settlement costs and last month, it announced a $3 billion charge for buying back and retrofitting the 2-liter diesels. The news agency said that VW has agreed to spend up to $25 billion to settle claims from owners, dealers and government regulators. In the US alone, Volkswagen has reached legal settlements with prosecutors, regulators, consumers, dealers and state attorneys general collectively eclipsing $20 billion depending on how many vehicles the auto maker repurchases.

The EPA posted the letter publicly after Reuters disclosed the approval earlier Monday.

In September, VW said it was taking a further $3 billion charge to fix diesel engines in the United States, lifting the total bill for its emissions-test cheating scandal to around $30 billion.

The company is still working to put the two-year-old "Dieselgate" scandal behind it, and seeking to transform itself into a maker of mass-market electric cars.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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