Audi says fixing diesel emission problem is simple

Audi reportedly has a simple repair nearly ready to fix the emissions problem on 85,000 vehicles with the 3.0-liter TDI V6 in the US. "Swift, straightforward and customer-friendly solutions are in discussion," company exec Rupert Stadler told workers in Germany, according to Reuters.

In late November, Audi announced that the 3.0 TDI had three previously undisclosed auxiliary emission control devices, including one that was potentially considered a defeat device under US law. At the time, the German automaker claimed it could repair the problem with just a software update. Stadler's statement indicates that just such a simple fix might be on the way.

Even before Audi's disclosure of the emission control devices, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a notice of violation against the 3.0-liter TDI for allegedly having software to defeat emissions tests, and the agency later expanded the scope to any vehicle with the engine from 2009 through 2016. The affected models include the Audi A6, A7, A8, Q5, Q7, Volkswagen Touareg, and Porsche Cayenne. New diesel versions of these vehicles have a stop-sale. Audi offered owners of affected vehicles the same $1,000 Goodwill Package that parent company VW offered to its affected diesel owners. The money is split up into a $500 gift card and $500 to spend at the Audi dealer. The package also comes with extended roadside assistance.

Audi needs to find a solution quickly because it's under a 45-day deadline from the California Air Resources Board to submit a recall plan for the 15,000 vehicles with the 3.0 TDI in the state. The automaker also must include a report on any effects to fuel economy and performance from the proposed repair.

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