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VW emissions scandal spreads to 3.0L V6

Sinful six: Volkswagen has added its larger V6 diesel to the list of engines fitted with defeat devices, which allow vehicles to pass emissions testing only when under test conditions.

VW reviews investments as 3.0-litre diesel dragged into emissions investigation

23 Nov 2015

VOLKSWAGEN has admitted its 3.0-litre diesel engine is also affected by the “defeat device” emissions scandal that started with the company's 2.0-litre engine, following a Notice of Violation issued by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and Californian Air Resources Board (CARB) earlier this month.

A statement released by the CARB, reveals Volkswagen and Audi officials responded to the notice, saying “that the issues raised in the In-Use Compliance letter extend to all 3.0-litre diesel engines”.

Model year vehicles from 2009 through 2016 are affected and include the Volkswagen Touareg, Audi A6, A7, A8, Q5 and Porsche Cayenne, adding another 85,000 to the growing list currently under investigation.

The scandal was unearthed in the US in September with an initial focus on 2.0-litre engines and, like the original investigation, vehicles sold in other global regions, including Australia, are likely to be affected by the latest development.

At its media presentation at the Tokyo motor show last month, Volkswagen announced it had developed a remedy for the 2.0-litre engines, but will now have to devise a similar fix for the six-cylinder engines.

Volkswagen has previously denied that any other engines use the software, which deliberately alters engine operation when under test conditions, but Reuters is reporting that the company has changed its tune.

According to Audi USA spokesperson Brad Stertz, Audi did not “properly notify regulators” when it was initially questioned about vehicles and engines affected by the cheat software.

“We are willing to take another crack at reprogramming to a degree that the regulators deem acceptable,” he said, With increasing pressure on the German car-maker to identify all emissions test-evading models and find a fix for them, Volkswagen Group has been forced to reassign funding that was set aside for other projects including the development of new vehicles.

In a statement from Volkswagen, CEO Matthias Muller said the company was reconsidering how it would invest capital, as the scandal continues to unfold.

“We are operating in uncertain and volatile times and are responding to this”, he said. “We will strictly prioritise all planned investments and expenditures. As announced, anything that is not absolutely necessary will be cancelled or postponed.” Mr Muller went on to say that, while some capital would have to be safeguarded to fund the diesel emissions fix, the development of key technologies would continue, such as “e-mobility and digitisation,” which will receive increased funding.

One project that will be postponed or culled altogether is a successor to Volkswagen's large luxury sedan – the Phaeton. The replacement for the car-maker's flagship sedan was announced last month, with VW committing to a full electric powertrain for the second-gen version.

“We will review and potentially cancel further expenditures or spread them out to a greater extent in the next few weeks, but without putting our future viability at risk,” he said.

Construction of the new design centre in Wolfsburg has been delayed, while a planned new paint shop in Mexico is under review, saving €100 million (AU $147 million).

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