The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the US has widened its net over the Volkswagen ‘dieselgate’ emissions scandal by announcing further scrutiny of the carmaker’s 3.0 litre V6 turbo-diesel engine.
Initially, the VW Group’s EA189 four-cylinder unit of 2.0-litre capacity or less was the primary engine of concern for the EPA, but news broke from the EPA earlier this month that the 3.0 litre engine may also be involved.
The EPA will now investigate models from Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche – 85,000 examples at least – suspected of running the infamous ‘defeat device’ and built as far back as 2009, after original investigations only targeted vehicles built from 2014.
And a statement from the EPA obtained by industry paper Automotive News combined with comments from Audi of America spokesman Jeri Ward, suggests Volkswagen has given the Agency no reason to avoid such investigations.
“The EPA and the California Air Resources Board will continue to investigate and will take all appropriate action,” the statement reads.
2015 Audi Q7
An EPA spokeswoman added that even examples built for the 2016 model year carrying the 3.0 litre V6 diesel may be fitted with the defeat device.
Mr Ward reportedly confirmed that the EPA had been informed by the Volkswagen Group that some of its 3.0 litre V6 models may be involved.
“We are fully cooperating with the environmental authorities and working on concrete measures that will resolve this situation,” Mr Ward said. “We’ll need some software changes in the future that will ultimately resolve this and there are more discussions that will be needed with the agencies.”
Models under the spotlight in the US include Audi’s A6, A7, A8, Q5 and Q7, along with the Porsche Cayenne.
However, any emissions software used with the V6 engine may be different from the defeat device used with the four-cylinder engine. But the outcome is the same, with vehicles programmed to recognise official emissions testing and switch to a ‘green’ mode providing a misleading emissions reading, unobtainable in real-world driving.