Update see below
Today is an important day for Volkswagen. It's the deadline for the automaker to submit another set of repair plans to the California Air Resources Board -- plans to bring 3.0-liter Audi, Porsche, and VW diesels in line with emissions regulations.
As you might recall, Volkswagen already proposed fixes for smaller, 2.0-liter Audi and VW vehicles. Unfortunately, CARB gave those plans a very big, very angry thumbs-down last month. CARB complained that not only was Volkswagen's proposal incomplete, but also that the automaker behaved as if it didn't take the entire Dieselgate fiasco seriously.
Though the Environmental Protection Agency didn't issue a decision of its own regarding the proposed 2.0-liter fix, the agency publicly agreed with CARB's decision. And that, in effect, sent Volkswagen back to the drawing board.
Now, attention moves to 3.0-liter vehicles involved in the emissions-cheating scandal. Representatives from Audi and VW have remained mum about whether they'll meet today's submission deadline. That reticence seems a little odd, considering that back in December, Audi said that a fix would be fairly simple and inexpensive. Affected 3.0-liter models include:
- 2014-2016 Audi A6
- 2013-2016 Audi A7
- 2014-2016 Audi A8
- 2014-2016 Audi Q5
- 2014-2016 Audi Q7
- 2014-2016 Porsche Cayenne
- 2013-2016 VW Touareg
All told, the Dieselgate scandal affects more than 11 million vehicles worldwide, 567,000 of which are registered in the U.S. Volkswagen has admitted to tweaking the software on diesel engine control units supplied by Bosch so that its vehicles could cheat on emissions tests. The first "clean diesel" cars equipped with the illegal software began rolling into showrooms in 2009, though employees and managers began testing the systems in 2006.
Fines, legal fees, repair costs, and other expenses related to the scandal are expected to top $20 billion -- if not more. Earlier today, VW reported a January sales decline of 14.6 percent compared to January 2015.
Update: Just under the wire. No details about the proposal yet, but it's been received by both CARB and the EPA. Stay tuned.