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Audi working on solution to Q7 diesel AdBlue issue

A design flaw in 160kW and 200kW versions of the Q7 has forced Audi to temporarily withdraw them from sale in Australia.
Tim Nicholson
Contributing Journalist
CarsGuide

9 Nov 2018 • 5 min read

Audi Australia is waiting for a fix for a potential emissions management issue that has seen the company halt the sale of two of three Q7 variants in October, which has contributed to an 80 per cent sales slide for its large SUV last month.

The design flaw in 160kW and 200kW versions of the Q7’s 3.0-litre TDI V6 diesel engine means the system can’t detect if its AdBlue anti-pollution system has been filled with AdBlue or another incorrect solution, meaning there is the potential for tampering.

AdBlue is a fluid made up of urea and deionised water that is injected into a diesel vehicle’s exhaust system to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxide (NOx) – one of the main causes of urban smog –  and it breaks down the NOx into water and nitrogen.

The stop-sale for new and used Q7 diesel V6 TDIs has come at a bad time for Audi, with BMW’s new-generation X5 large SUV set to lob before the end of November.

Mercedes-Benz is also gearing up for the arrival in April 2019 of its freshly revealed GLE SUV.

The launch next month of Audi’s new Q8 upper-large SUV could provide the carmaker with some relief at the top end of the segment, but it will be keen to make sure the Q7 is back in showrooms by then.

Audi Australia corporate communications manager Shaun Cleary said engineers were working on a solution and that sales would resume as soon as it has been optimised and installed.

Audi Australia corporate communications manager Shaun Cleary said engineers were working on a solution. Audi Australia corporate communications manager Shaun Cleary said engineers were working on a solution.

The two V6 TDI Q7s have been withdrawn for sale Down Under, leaving the flagship $161,900 (plus on-road costs) V8 4.0-litre diesel SQ7 as the only variant offered.

The Q7 e-tron plug-in hybrid was only offered as a limited-edition variant in Australia and is not affected by the issue.

Audi Australia confirmed to CarsGuide that it is not conducting a recall/rectification program for customer cars potentially impacted by the fault.

Q7 sales have dropped from 266 in June to just 29 in October. Last month’s tally was an 86 per cent dip compared with the same month in 2017, while year-to-date Q7 sales have now slipped by 31 per cent.

VFACTS sales figures reveal that Audi registered four new Q8s last month ahead of the its media launch in December and showroom launch in January.

The Q8 will be offered initially with a 3.0-litre TFSI petrol engine, while a 3.0-litre diesel will follow later in 2019.

Will the stop-sale of some Q7 variants give BMW and Mercedes a sales advantage? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

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