Volkswagen emission cheating scandal spreads to Porsche
NEW YORK — Volkwagen’s emission cheating scandal grew Monday, and this time it extended out to Porsche, its luxury car brand.
The Environmental Protection Agency and California regulators cited VW for another 10,000 cars on the road with diesel engines designed to give false emission readings when tested. On the road, those same cars spewed more than the allowable amount of pollution.
The 10,000 additional cars is relatively small compared to the nearly 500,000 U.S. cars already cited by the EPA and California, let alone the 11 million VW diesel cars worldwide.
But it is a serious blow for VW’s already battered credibility.
Not only do these new cars have a different size diesel engine, but the way they allegedly cheated is different from what was cited in the other cases, according to the EPA’s violation notice.
“The official expansion of this problem casts a darker shadow on the VW Group,” said Karl Brauer, senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book.
Volkswagen spokespeople did not have an immediate comment on the latest violation notice, but Porsche issued a statement.
“We are surprised to learn this information. Until this notice, all of our information was that the Porsche Cayenne Diesel is fully compliant,” the statement said. It said Porsche Cars North America will cooperate with authorities.
Volkswagen has admitted it is guilty of the cheating software in its engines known as a “defeat device.” It also revealed last month that it was investigating whether more of its cars than it originally admitted might have the cheating software.
VW was already facing a fine of as much as $18 billion from U.S. regulators for violating the Clean Air Act, because each car found in violation can be subject to a $37,500 fine. The additional fine from 10,000 additional cars is not that great – about $375 million more than original estimates. But the cost of satisfying the car owners could be significantly more since these are higher priced vehicles.
“Whatever compensation they come up with may satisfy a VW Jetta owner is less likely to satisfy a Porsche Cayenne owner who paid so much more for their vehicle,” said Rebecca Lindland, KBB’s senior director of commercial insights.
The models include the 2014 VW Touareg, the 2015 Porsche Cayenne, as well as the 2016 Audi A6 Quattro, A7 Quattro, A8, A8L, and Q5.
EPA said this latest violation was discovered as part of its expanded testing of all diesel models sold in the U.S. to see if they also were cheating when they had their emissions tested.