3.0 Liter VOLKSWAGEN DIESEL VEHICLE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

This page last reviewed December 20, 2016



What will this Second Partial Consent Decree require of manufacturers?

Audi manufactured 3.0 L diesel engines that were installed in vehicles made by Audi, Volkswagen (VW) and Porsche during Model Years 2009-2016. These engines include a so-called "defeat device" that interfered with the operations of the vehicles' emissions control systems and calibrations so that the cars were no longer the "clean diesel" vehicles consumers were promised.

As a result, the affected vehicles emit several times more nitrogen oxides (NOx) than legally allowed in California and in the United States. The California Air Resources Board (CARB), US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), the California Attorney General's Office, and the US Department of Justice (US DOJ) subsequently have worked with the automakers to arrive at today's announced agreement.

If the court approves this Second Partial Consent Decree, the automakers will be required to:

  • Offer to buy back, cancel leases for, or modify (upon US EPA and CARB approval) all affected 2009-2012 Model Year 3.0L diesel vehicles
  • Offer to modify (upon US EPA and CARB approval) all affected 2013-2016 Model Year 3.0L diesel vehicles, or later offer to buy back or cancel leases if no modification is approved.
  • Mitigate environmental harm caused by these 2009-2016 Model Year vehicles

NOx is an air pollutant that contributes to the formation of ozone and particulate matter. It can greatly aggravate health problems such as asthma and cardio-pulmonary disease, and is a particularly serious and expensive problem in California.

The requirements of this Partial Consent Decree will mitigate past and future environmental harm from these vehicles.

This agreement does not include penalties for regulatory violations. Those will be the subject of later discussions.

You can read the draft national Consent Decree.


Which vehicles are affected by this Consent Decree?

There are about 87,000 3.0 L diesel vehicles affected nationally. Almost 15,000 of those are in California.

Below is a complete list of affected passenger car and sport utility vehicle models.

Affected diesel models include:

  • 2009 VW Touareg, Audi Q7
  • 2010 VW Touareg, Audi Q7
  • 20011 VW Touareg, Audi Q7
  • 2012 VW Touareg, Audi Q7
  • 2013 VW Touareg, Audi Q7, Porsche Cayenne Diesel
  • 2014 VW Touareg, Audi Q7, Porsche Cayenne Diesel
  • 2014 Audi A6, A7, A8, A8L, Q5
  • 2015 Audi Q7, A6, A7, A8, A8L, Q5
  • 2015 VW Touareg, Porsche Cayenne Diesel
  • 2016 VW Touareg, Porsche Cayenne Diesel, Audi A6, A7, A8, A8L, Q5

Will the company buy back my car?

At this time, the manufacturers in this case must offer a buyback for Volkswagen Touaregs and Audi Q7 diesels from Model Years 2009-2012. For the 2013-2016 Model Year 3.0L diesel vehicles, the company will first seek CARB and US EPA approval of, and then offer, an emissions modification to bring those vehicles near to compliance with their original certification. If no emissions modification is approved by CARB and US EPA for the affected 2013-2016 Model Year vehicles, the manufacturers must offer a buyback for those vehicles.

Why the Difference in Model Year treatment ?

Vehicles eligible for buyback and lease termination up front are the oldest of several versions, or generations. There appears to be little likelihood of a successful modification for these vehicles.

The newer vehicles appear to be much more likely candidates for a successful modification. However, no modification has been approved, and if the manufacturers cannot provide one, these vehicles will become eligible for buyback and lease termination, as well.

Further details of buybacks, lease termination, and potential modifications can be found here: https://www.vwcourtsettlement.com/en/

Who makes the decision?

CARB and US EPA must approve any emissions modifications for these vehicles. The companies must offer to buy back and lease termination for the affected 2009-2012 vehicles up front, regardless of the availability of a modification. And in the event there is no modification approved for the affected 2013-2016 Model Year vehicles, the companies must later offer to buy back and cancel leases.

How long does the company have to come up with a modification?

Under the Second Partial Consent Decree the companies have deadlines to submit emissions modification proposals for each group of affected vehicles. Below are those deadlines:



Model Year Vehicle Make and Model(s) Manufacturers' Final Submittal Deadline
2009 VW Touareg, Audi Q7 November 10, 2017
2010 VW Touareg, Audi Q7 November 10, 2017
2011 VW Touareg, Audi Q7 November 10, 2017
2012 VW Touareg, Audi Q7 November 10, 2017
2013 VW Touareg, Audi Q7, Porsche Cayenne Diesel May 12, 2017
2014 VW Touareg, Audi Q7, Porsche Cayenne Diesel May 12, 2017
2014 Audi A6, A7, A8, A8L, Q5 June 23, 2017
2015 Audi Q7 May 12, 2017
2015 Audi A6, A7, A8, A8L, Q5 June 23, 2017
2015 VW Touareg, Porsche Cayenne Diesel April 25, 2017
2016 Audi A6, A7, A8, A8L, Q5 June 23, 2017
2016 VW Touareg, Porsche Cayenne Diesel April 25, 2017



Do I have to get the modification done to drive, register or sell my car?

No. However, owners who do not get an approved modification will not be eligible for generous extended warranty options included with the modification.

How will the companies pay for environmental damage?

The companies must pay $225 million into a mitigation fund. California will receive over $41 million (roughly 18 percent) of that money for mitigation programs in the state.

The companies will also be required to add a second "Green City" in California in addition to the one required under the previous Consent Decree involving 2.0 L diesel vehicles. This city must have a population of at least 500,000 with citizens who live primarily in disadvantaged communities.

Because the companies adversely impacted the electric vehicle market by falsely advertising their vehicles as "clean diesel," the companies must also provide further support for the zero emission vehicle market.

How will that ZEV market support be delivered?

The Partial Consent Decree requires the manufacturers to pay CARB $25 million dollars by July 1, 2017 to support efforts to make ZEVs available to more Californians. This money will likely be used to expand programs such as replace and upgrade programs for high-emitting cars in disadvantaged communities (EFMP Plus-up) and the California Vehicle Rebate Program (CVRP) which provide rebates and financial assistance for purchase of ZEVs.

In addition, before 2019 the manufacturers will make available in California, at least three new models of battery electric vehicles, including at least one SUV. The companies must add a second SUV model to that inventory by 2020 and keep them on the market through at least 2025. ZEV credits generated by placement of these vehicles in California cannot be sold on the credit market.

Who will decide which mitigation projects receive money?

Projects in California must be approved by CARB and nationally by US EPA. In addition there will be a public process to collect input from Californians.

What if I don't like this deal, is there a place I can challenge it?

There is a public comment period for the federal version of the Consent Decree. There is no comment period for the California-specific material. To send a comment on the federal version, go here: (EPA URL).

The full draft Consent Decree can be found here: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-12/documents/30literpartialconsentdecree.pdf



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