Volkswagen Has Four Weeks to Find a Solution for Its Diesel V-6 Problem

Judge declares the carmaker must come up with a plan for 3.0-liter models by November 30. 

AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, File

The clock is still ticking. Volkswagen has until the end of the month to come up with a plan to deal with the 80,000 vehicles in the United States powered by 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6 engines, the federal judge overseeing the case ruled yesterday.

During court, U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer announced that VW has made "substantial progress" towards finding a way to wrap up the kerfuffle over its V-6 diesel cars and SUVs, according to The Wall Street Journal. The judge set a hearing for the case for November 30th, at which point, he said, he thought Volkswagen could return to court with "what I hope will be very good news."

In contrast to the $10 billion settlement for the owners and lessors of the nearly 500,000 2.0-liter diesel models in America that was recently approved in Judge Breyer's court, Volkswagen has had some trouble coming up with a suitable fix for the vehicles powered by the larger oil-burning engine. In their current form, the V-6 diesels—which were found in Porsche Cayennes, VW Touaregs, and Audi Q7s, A6s, A7s, and A8s—do not meet federal regulations, and the company has been relatively quiet about what form a potential fix may take. 

Language from Audi's global head of sales and marketing earlier this year suggested discussions between VW and American authorities could be reached as early as October; clearly, that date has come and gone, but Breyer's remarks seem to imply that work is indeed progressing in the right direction. 

Based on the deal struck with the 2.0-liter owners, it seems probable that the 3.0-liter settlement will include a choice between buybacks and fixes for the affected vehicles—but we'll know for sure by the end of the month.