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Porsche implicated in VW dieselgate scandal

More trouble ahead: Current-model Porsche Cayenne diesels have been nominated by the US Environmental Protection Agency as having emissions defeat software installed, a charge that VW denies.

US EPA targets 3.0-litre V6 diesel engines in latest action, but VW Group refutes it

Volkswagen logo3 Nov 2015

By TIM ROBSON

THE United States Environmental Protection Agency has issued a second notice of violation against the Volkswagen Group, this time alleging that the group’s range of 3.0-litre V6 diesels have been fitted with emissions test-defeating software.

The notice names Volkswagen, Audi and, for the first time since the scandal broke in September, Porsche.

Cars caught up in the alleged breaches include the 2014 VW Touareg, 2015 Porsche Cayenne and 2016 Audi A6 Quattro, A7 Quattro, A8, A8L and Q5.

The notice is said to cover some 10,000 vehicles in the United States, including an undisclosed number of 2016 cars.

The 3.0 V6 24v TDI CR common-rail turbo-diesel engine was developed by Audi and came on stream in 2004.

“These tests have raised serious concerns about the presence of defeat devices on additional VW, Audi and Porsche vehicles,” said Richard Corey, executive officer of the California Air Resources Board, in a statement.

“Today we are requiring VW Group to address these issues. This is a very serious public health matter.” The EPA’s test allegedly shows software in the ECUs of the named vehicles that senses when it is being tested for compliance with EPA emissions standards.

When the vehicle senses that it is undergoing an emissions test procedure – on a rolling road, with no rear wheel speed or steering input detected – it operates in a low NOx ‘temperature conditioning’ mode, where combustion and exhaust temperatures are held at an artificially low point.

“Under that mode, the vehicle meets emission standards,” read the EPA statement. “At exactly one second after the completion of the initial phases of the standard test procedure, the vehicle immediately changes a number of operating parameters that increase NOx emissions, and indicates in the software that it is transitioning to ‘normal mode’ where emissions of NOx increase up to nine times the EPA standard, depending on the vehicle and type of driving conditions.” Volkswagen has immediately issued a denial.

“The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) informed Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft on Monday that vehicles with V6 TDI engines had a software function which had not been adequately described in the application process,” the statement read.

“Volkswagen AG wishes to emphasise that no software has been installed in the 3.0-litre V6 diesel power units to alter emissions characteristics in a forbidden manner.

“Volkswagen will co-operate fully with the EPA clarify this matter in its entirety.” If Porsche is found to be involved in the scandal, it may cast doubt on the tenure of the Volkswagen Group’s new chief executive officer – and former chief of Porsche – Matthias Mueller.

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