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There may yet be hope for fixing Volkswagen's 3.0-liter diesels

While the idea of a full fix for its 2.0-liter models is more of a pipe dream, the 85,000 3.0-liters out there appear to have a better shot at redemption.

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The 3.0-liter fix can likely remain software-only, as there are no defeat devices present.

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When Volkswagen outlined its settlement regarding its over-polluting 2.0-liter diesels, many VW faithful immediately asked, "What about the 3.0-liters?" Those cars have issues, too, but they weren't lumped in with the 2.0-liter settlement. Nothing is set in stone yet, but it appears the likelihood of a fix is a bit better.

The German automaker has faith that it can fix its 3.0-liter diesel engines in the US, Reuters reports, covering some 85,000 cars. The 3.0-liter diesel models don't have the special "defeat device" software that the 2.0-liters do, but it's still capable of polluting in excess of legal limits, thanks to an "undeclared auxiliary emissions-control device," as Reuters puts it.

The outlet cites VW lawyer Robert Giuffra as saying that a 3.0-liter fix would be relatively straightforward and that VW believed it wouldn't negatively affect performance. Any fix for the 2.0-liter cars is likely to involve hardware retrofits and hits to either fuel economy or outright performance, if a fix is even approved.

We'll learn more about any potential 3.0-liter remedy in late August. The judge overseeing the case against VW, Charles Breyer, has set a hearing date of August 25. It's not a firm deadline, but rather a time at which VW will provide a progress update.

This issue affects the 2009-2016 Audi A6, A7, A8, Q5 and Q7, Porsche Cayenne and Volkswagen Touareg.