Dieselgate never dies. Germany’s Federal Motor Transport Authority (Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt) has informed Audi that it will be subjected to additional fines if it fails to meet upcoming deadlines for retrofitting manipulated diesel models with updated software.
Reports from Bild am Sonntag, later confirmed by Reuters, claim the regulatory authority issued three letters to the automaker stipulating that it had until September 26th to replace the software in emissions-cheating V6 and V8 TDI engines (originally certified as EU6 compliant) lest it be fined 25,000 euros (about $27,500) per vehicle. While fines are only applicable to cars still carrying illicit software, the transport ministry estimated some 127,000 Audi vehicles qualified in Europe last year. There were originally around 850,000.
Retrofitting includes little more than updating software code on the affected Audi models and removing any lines that allowed vehicles to emit significantly higher emissions on-road than during testing conditions — thus restoring their legality. Vehicles that are not fixed by the September deadline may never receive approval, Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt has warned. Germany is also considering forcing Audi to buy back older EU4 diesel models, though no official decision has yet been made. However, those models may need substantially more work than a simple software update.
Audi has stated it’s already made quite a bit of headway with the retrofitting of EU6 models and should be able to adhere to the deadline set by the German transport ministry. It asked that Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt not withdraw approvals on vehicles still requiring a fix.