The EPA said in their letter that they found the cheat device on the company’s 3.0-liter V-6 diesel engine that is found in the 2014 Volkswagen Touareg, the 2015 Porsche Cayenne and the 2016 Audi Q5 SUVs and the 2016 Audi A6 Quattro, A7 Quattro, A8 and A8L.
According to the EPA letter, software in the car’s electronic control module (ECM) detects when the car is being tested and turns on a “temperature conditioning” mode. In this mode, the engine puts out below-standard NOx (nitrous oxides) emissions using a combination of injection timing, exhaust gas recirculation and common-rail fuel pressure.
As soon as the test is over – one second after the test is complete – the ECM switches the car back to “normal” mode, in which the same combination above changes and results in more NOx emissions and lower exhaust temperature. Emissions of nitrous oxides are nine times the government standard levels when the car is in normal mode.
According to a USA Today report, Volkswagen is denying they put the defeat software in their 3.0-liter V-6 engines. The company admitted to putting the defeat software in their 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel engines found in cars like the Jetta, Golf and New Beetle.
In a statement, Porsche Cars North America said that they were “surprised to learn this information” and that they thought the Porsche Cayenne Diesel was “fully compliant.” They said they would cooperate fully with authorities.
The emissions scandal has already taken its toll on Volkswagen as it clamors to deal with its aftermath. It has a new CEO, a new global structure and over $7 billion stowed away to help deal with the monetary side of the issue.
While the damage is already done, the inclusion of luxury brands like Porsche and Audi is a further blow to the company’s credibility. Both of those brands are well respected and repairing their tarnished reputations may be more difficult in markets where brand cachet is king.
Check out this TFLcar 0-60 review of the 2014 Audi A8 TDI: