California Air Resources Board enforcement division boss Todd Sax told the state legislature that it might not be possible for Volkswagen to offer a fully compliant fix for its faulty diesel engines. The two sides could compromise so that the automaker lowers the vehicles' emissions but doesn't bring them completely in line with the law, according to Reuters.

"Our goal has been to fix the vehicles and return them to their certified configuration as expeditiously as possible," Sax said during the legislative hearing, according to Reuters. "Unfortunately, this may not be possible."

Sax said there was no compromise yet. Even if the two sides agreed to bring the diesels closer to emissions compliance, VW would still face consequences. For example, the company would likely need to pay for the ongoing pollution from these vehicles. If the the automaker and regulators can't come to an agreement, CARB is willing to take VW to court, Sax claims.

District Court Judge Charles Breyer gave VW until March 24 to propose a satisfactory fix for its 2.0-liter diesel engine, but execs hinted that it might be months before they have something to show. However, the judge didn't say how he would respond if VW missed the deadline.

VW already proposed a fix for the 2.0-liter to CARB and the Environmental Protection Agency, but they rejected it. Regulators continue to evaluate the possible repair for the 3.0-liter V6, too.

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