EPA and CARB: Volkswagen 3.0L diesels employ defeat device
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board (CARB) have issued yet another notice of violation to Volkswagen of America and its subsidiary brands, this time targeting vehicles equipped with the company’s three-liter diesel V6 powerplant.
The regulators allege that certain Audi, Porsche and Volkswagen cars and SUVs from model years 2014 through 2016 employ a defeat device not disclosed during the EPA emissions certification process. The 2014 and 2015 models in question represent a total volume of roughly 10,000 vehicles. The sedans in question include the Audi A7, A6 quattro, A8 and A8L. SUVs include the Volkswagen Touareg, Porsche Cayenne and Audi Q5.
Regulators claim that the vehicles in question employ ECU programming that behaves similarly to that found in the company’s 2.0L diesel models. On-board sensors determine whether the vehicles are being tested or driven normally. When in normal operation, EPA and CARB found that they emit as much as nine times the allowable quantities of NOx–not as severe a violation as some of Volkswagen’s two-liter models, but still substatially more than the standard dictates.
“VW has once again failed its obligation to comply with the law that protects clean air for all Americans,” said Cynthia Giles, Assistant Administrator for the Office for EPA’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, in the statement accompanying the public release of the letter to VOA. “All companies should be playing by the same rules. EPA, with our state, and federal partners, will continue to investigate these serious matters, to secure the benefits of the Clean Air Act, ensure a level playing field for responsible businesses, and to ensure consumers get the environmental performance they expect.”
Volkswagen still has no solution for addressing vehicles subject to the first round of stop-sales and mandatory EPA recalls. The company has asked for patience as buyers, owners, regulators and investors await updates regarding the coming recall campaign.
The company is carefully managing fallout as government investigations continue and lawyers prepare numerous class-action lawsuits. Recall costs could equate to thousands of dollars per affected vehicle, with a total of 11 million vehicles to fix across the globe. Fines and litigation payouts could add billions to the final bill.