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Audi might buy back 25,000 diesels in the US

Buying the cars back means that Audi likely exhausted every potential option for fixing them.

The logo of German car maker Audi can be seen on a car on the sidelines of the company's annual press conference in Ingolstadt, southern Germany, on March 3, 2016. / AFP / CHRISTOF STACHE (Photo credit should read CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP/Getty Images)

Volkswagen is about to pay out the wazoo in order to buy back hundreds of thousands of dirty 2.0-liter diesels in the US. It was thought that VW Group's 3.0-liter diesels might escape the same fate, but one report believes otherwise.

Audi might buy back approximately 25,000 examples of its 3.0-liter diesel vehicles in the United States, Reuters reports, citing a story in Germany's Der Spiegel. These vehicles, all of which appear to be Q7 SUVs, are too old to be fixed in the same manner as Audi's other 3.0-liter diesels.

Audi and Porsche are figuring out what to do with the tens of thousands of 3.0-liter diesel vehicles in the US. The diesels aren't equipped with the same type of explicit defeat device that got Volkswagen in trouble in the first place. Rather, they contain emissions-mitigating software that was not announced to the EPA, which is still against the rules.

According to Spiegel's report, Audi is in talks with state and federal regulators to fix approximately 85,000 newer 3.0-liter diesels. Audi did not immediately return a request for comment, but the company declined to comment to Reuters.

A buyback is the situation Volkswagen Group has tried to avoid up to this point. Buying back the 2.0-liter diesels, which are all smaller, more affordable cars, will cost the company billions of dollars. Adding a bunch of high-value luxury sedans and SUVs into the equation will only inflate costs further, and Volkswagen is already under pressure to keep costs as low as possible while it rounds up the scratch to pay for this mess.

Then again, it's Volkswagen's mess to begin with. The company ended up in hot water in 2015, after it admitted to installing defeat-device software on its 2.0-liter diesel vehicles. This software curtailed tailpipe emissions during lab testing, only to pollute well in excess of the legal limit once out on the road.

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