Information published by the United States Environmental Protection Agency overnight indicates that the Volkswagen Group’s 3.0 litre turbo diesel V6, as used in the Touareg, Cayenne, and various Audi models, may also feature an emissions defeat device.
Adding to Volkswagen’s current 'dieselgate' diesel emissions crisis, which affects 1.6 and 2.0 litre turbo diesel four-cylinder engines, this new information brings further doubt to Volkswagen’s conduct with regard to emissions compliance.
The EPA’s violation notice notes that, as with the defeat device fitted to four-cylinder vehicles, the turbo diesel V6 equipped models are able to detect when they are under test conditions and engage “temperature conditioning” mode, providing lower nitrogen oxide emissions.
Once the vehicle detects that it is no longer under test it reverts back to normal mode, and may produce levels of NOx emissions up to nine times higher than those achieved in testing.
The EPA’s findings pinpoint this function of the software, which was not described in the vehicle’s applications for their required Certificates of Conformity, as the area of concern
The EPA estimates around 10,000 vehicles may be affected in the US including the 2014 VW Touareg, 2015 Porsche Cayenne, and 2016 Audi A6, A7, A8 and Q5. Whether this defeat device has also been fitted internationally, like the similar device fitted to the EA189 four cylinder, remains to be confirmed.
Volkswagen has released a very brief statement in regard to the notice of violation, which states:
“The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) informed Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft on Monday that vehicles with V6 TDI engines had a software function which had not been adequately described in the application process. Volkswagen AG wishes to emphasize that no software has been installed in the 3-litre V6 diesel power units to alter emissions characteristics in a forbidden manner."
"Volkswagen will cooperate fully with the EPA to clarify this matter in its entirety.”
The EPA will continue its investigation, and TMR will bring you more information as it is released.