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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.

WOLFSBURG, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 20: The Volkswagen logo is seen at the main entrance gate of the Volkswagen group on November 20, 2015 in Wolfsburg, Germany. High-ranking Volkswagen managers meet currently inside Volkswagen headquaerts. Meanwhile Volkswagen officials are scheduled to meet with officials in the USA to present details on how the company will fix 482,000 Volkswagen vehicles sold in the U.S. affected by the emissions cheating software to comply with U.S. emissions standards. Volkswagen is coming under increasing pressure in the U.S. by officials in Washington and California to buy the faulty diesel cars back. (Photo by Alexander Koerner/Getty Images)
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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.