Diesel cheat stretches to Audi, Porsche

Diesel cheat stretches to Audi, Porsche

Luxury brands Porsche and Audi have now been hauled deeper into the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal, with officials citing new models with so-called ‘defeat devices.’

Some models from both brands with a V6 diesel engine, including the Audi A6 sedan and Q5 SUV, and Porsche’s Cayenne were named alongside the VW Touareg.

Model years from 2014 to 2016 have been included, said regulators from federal and California state environmental agencies.

The US Environmental Protection Agency is now looking at 3.0-litre V6 diesel engines used mostly in larger, more expensive models like the Porsche Cayenne in addition to the smaller diesel engines whose test-deceiving software were initially targeted by the agency.

The move will likely pull luxury brands Porsche and Audi deeper into the scandal that has already engulfed the corporate parent Volkswagen AG and its mass-market VW brand.

“On the road, emissions of the smog-causing pollutant nitrogen oxide on the affected high-end vehicles could be nine times higher than allowed,” the EPA says.

“The latest revelations raise the question, where does VW’s road of deceit end?,” house energy and commerce committee chairman Fred Upton says, adding that the disclosure “prompts questions regarding the prevalence of the emissions cheating and how it went undetected for so long.”

Volkswagen said in response to the EPA allegations that it had installed no software on its 3.0 litre V6 diesel cars to improperly change emissions values and that it was cooperating with the agency to fully investigate the matter.

About 10,000 of the luxury cars are fitted with the illegal software device, regulators said.

Many more may be on the road. VW in 2013 said it had built and sold more than 1.6 million 3.0 V6 TDI engines worldwide, just before the current version of the engine was introduced in 2014.

It is not clear how many models fitted with the current version may have the illegal software. The EPA said it cited only those vehicles and model years that it had recently tested. It did not say if it has tested earlier versions of the 3.0 TDI.

In September, Volkswagen admitted it installed software that can cheat emissions tests, called defeat devices, in smaller, four-cylinder engines on about 482,000 cars in the US and more than 11 million worldwide.

Volkswagen has yet to come up with solutions to address illegal software on three generations of four-cylinder diesels first cited by the EPA on September 18.

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