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Volkswagen has submitted plans for fixing its cheating diesel engines

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Last week, Volkswagen submitted plans to the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for recalling and fixing emissions on its 2-liter diesel cars that have "defeat devices" designed to look clean only when they're undergoing official testing measures; now, VW's Audi subsidiary has filed plans for fixing 3-liter diesels that were more recently caught up in the scandal.

The plans appear to be quite different, though: while the 3-liter engines can allegedly be brought into compliance using nothing more than a software update, more complex changes will be required on the 2-liter vehicles, necessitating a more difficult, time-consuming, and expensive recall. Neither plan has been approved yet by US regulators, and until they are, all 2- and 3-liter diesels offered by Volkswagen Group brands in the US — which come from VW, Audi, and Porsche — are suspended from sale.

News of the plans comes amid rumors that a new global automaker could be pulled into an emissions cheating scandal, possibly as soon as tomorrow, as reported by Daily Kanban. Though Volkswagen has generally tried to place the blame for its own cheating on a small number of rogue actors inside the company, the incentive to cheat seems to have been strong: engineers were able to accurately program engine software to identify official emissions tests, helping the company advertise stronger fuel economy — a key sales driver — while still meeting requirements.