Porsche part of vehicle emission control scandal, ARB and EPA charged today

ARB and EPA charged that the 2015 diesel version of Porsche’s Cayenne has an illegal emission control defeat device.

The largest vehicle emissions scandal in history got worse today with announcements by the California Air Resources Board (ARB) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that still more vehicles have been discovered to be equipped with illegal emission control defeat devices. This time, one of the premier names in the history of high-performance vehicles, Porsche, has been caught up in the controversy.

In letters to Porsche, Volkswagen (its corporate parent), as well as Audi, ARB and EPA charged that additional vehicles with diesel engines were purposely equipped with devices that turned off vehicle emission control systems except when the vehicles were undergoing official compliance testing. As a result, illegal and unhealthy concentrations of nitrogen oxides (NOx), up to 9 times that allowed, were emitted during normal driving.

The devices were discovered during additional testing conducted by the agencies and Environment Canada as a result of the previous discoveries in other Volkswagen and Audi vehicles. Those vehicles included various models from 2009 – 2016 that used 2.0 liter so-called “Clean Diesel” engines.

According to ARB’s and EPA’s announcement, the following vehicles, which used larger, 3.0 liter diesel engines, were found to have defeat devices:

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

“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. “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.”

Richard Corey, ARB’s Executive Officer, added, “On September 25, the California Air Resources Board sent letters to all manufacturers letting them know we would be screening vehicles for potential defeat devices. Since then ARB, EPA and Environment Canada have continued test programs on additional diesel-powered passenger cars and SUVs. These tests have raised serious concerns about the presence of defeat devices on additional VW, Audi and Porsche vehicles. Today we are requiring VW Group to address these issues. This is a very serious public health matter. ARB and EPA will continue to conduct a rigorous investigation that includes testing more vehicles until all of the facts are out in the open.”

ARB ordered VW to respond within 72 hours of the receipt of its letter to arrange for a meeting to dicuss these latest developments. In addition, ARB asked VW that appropriate Audi and Porsche management and engineering staff be made available for those discussions. ARB estimated that approximately 1600 of this latest group of vehicles may have been sold in California with defeat devices if the latest models tested proved to be representative of all that were sold.

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