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VW to 'refit' all 11M emissions-cheating cars

by Justin King

Technical details are being kept under wraps until October.

Volkswagen has promised to 'refit' all of the 11 million diesel vehicles outfitted with software designed to cheat emissions tests.

The company is still short on details, though some reports have suggested the affected vehicles may need to be outfitted with a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system to bring emissions back down to acceptable levels without a significant reduction in power output and fuel economy.

A urea-injection retrofit is expected to be extremely expensive and may not even be technically feasible. As an alternative, VW could take the cheaper route of simply tweaking the software to run in the emissions-compliant test mode. A software reflash may be less expensive up front, but could cost VW later as the deluge of class-action lawsuits begin to put a price tag on lost value and owners' higher fuel costs.

"Under the action plan, Volkswagen and the other Group brands whose vehicles are affected will present the technical solutions and measures to the responsible authorities in October," VW said in a statement.

The German automaker has already put aside 6.5 billion euros (~$7.25 billion USD) to cover costs associated with the crisis. It is unclear if the total has been allocated solely for the recall costs, or if the charge reflects anticipated fines and civil-litigation damages.

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