Dieselgate deepens: now Porsche is implicated too, plus a CO2 scare | CAR Magazine

Dieselgate deepens: now Porsche is implicated too, plus a CO2 scare

Published: 03 November 2015 Updated: 03 November 2015

► EPA issues second violation notice
► Involves new Porsche, Audi, VW models
► CO2 calibration worries too

A double-whammy plot twist for the VW emissions scandal, as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the USA has issued a second notice of violation of the Clean Air Act to the Volkswagen Group. This time it concerns a new engine not previously implicated, the 3.0-litre diesel unit fitted to current models from VW, Audi and Porsche. Volkswagen has issued a statement denying the allegations.

And in a separate development, VW also admitted it has uncovered ‘irregularities’ in how it has measured CO2 levels in around 800,000 VWs, Audis, Skodas and Seats in Europe. Wolfsburg said it could cost as much as €2 billion (£1.4bn) to fix – on top of the already burgeoning cost of fixing the earlier NOx emissions software cheat.

It’s been another dramatic day for VW, Europe’s biggest car maker now mired in one of the biggest industrial scandals of the century. New group boss, Matthias Mueller, said: ‘From the very start I have pushed hard for the relentless and comprehensive clarification of events. We will stop at nothing and nobody. This is a painful process, but it is our only alternative. For us, the only thing that counts is the truth.’

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#Dieselgate chapter two: the 3.0 cars implicated

During further testing carried out by the EPA since the original scandal broke, what is believed to be an emissions testing ‘defeat device’ was discovered on the following models, all of which are fitted with 3.0-litre diesel engines:

  • 2014 VW Touareg
  • 2015 Porsche Cayenne
  • 2016 Audi A6 Quattro, A7 Quattro, A8, A8L, Q5

The cars involved are alleged to emit levels of nitrogen oxide (NOx) up to nine times greater than the EPA’s standard. Approximately 10,000 cars in the US are thought to be affected, in addition to ‘an unknown volume of 2016 vehicles,’ says the EPA. The EPA’s statement can be read here.

Initially only the VW Group’s 2.0-litre four-cylinder EA 189 diesel engine was thought to be involved in the scandal. For an in-depth analysis of the whole #dieselgate story so far, click here.

A badge of (dis)honour?

This is the first time Porsche has been implicated in the emissions scandal and the company, which owns a 32% stake in Volkswagen AG, today warned the emissions crisis would dent its profits – but forecast it is still on track to make a profit of between €800m-€1.8bn – even after the clean-up costs.

Former Porsche boss Matthias Mueller was appointed CEO of the entire VW group following erstwhile chief Martin Winterkorn’s ousting in the wake of the original scandal.

Volkswagen denies the allegations

The VW Group has issued a statement denying the EPA’s allegations. The Volkswagen statement in full:

‘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. Volkswagen AG wishes to emphasize that no software has been installed in the 3-liter V6 diesel power units to alter emissions characteristics in a forbidden manner. Volkswagen will cooperate fully with the EPA clarify this matter in its entirety.’

Click here for a detailed explainer on each stage of the Volkswagen emissions scandal.

By James Taylor

Former features editor for CAR, occasional racer