Volkswagen AG’s proposed fix to emissions systems that masked pollution levels was approved by U.S. and California regulators for 38,000 SUVs with diesel V-6 engines, another milestone in the automaker’s effort to remedy more than half a million U.S. vehicles that skirted clean-air rules.
That leaves only around 40,000 vehicles with the automaker’s 3.0-liter diesel V-6 engine for which an approved repair has not been received. In September, regulators rejected a fix for 2012-2014 Passat diesels with manual transmissions.
In the announcement on Oct. 23, the Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board approved VW’s plan to remove illegal software in the SUVs, and modify hardware on some vehicles.
The 2015 Audi Q5, as well as the 2013-2014 VW Touareg and Porsche Cayenne SUVs, will receive a software update only, while Touaregs and Cayennes from model years 2015-2016 will get hardware changes as well.
VW spokeswoman Jeannine Ginivan said the company is "working closely with our regulators to develop approved solutions for the remaining 3.0L TDI V6 vehicles as quickly as possible.”
Volkswagen AG admitted in late 2015 that it rigged about 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide to cheat emissions tests, kicking off one of the largest corporate fraud scandals in the history of the global auto industry.
The carmaker has since settled suits with consumers and regulators in the U.S. and has agreed to buy back or fix the vehicles. Eight of its executives have been indicted in the U.S. and two have pleaded guilty to their roles in the scandal.
By Ryan Beene