Business

Cheating software found on Porsches, more VWs

NEW YORK — The Environmental Protection Agency said Monday that it had found cheating software on more Volkswagen and Audi cars than previously disclosed and, for the first time, also found the illegal software in some Porsche models.

The agency said Volkswagen installed a defeat device in certain Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche light-duty diesel vehicles equipped with 3.0-liter engines, for model years 2014 through 2016. It said these devices, meant to cheat on emissions testing, would increase the release of nitrogen oxide up to nine times the agency’s standard.

The EPA said the vehicles covered in its latest notice of violation are the diesel versions of the 2014 VW Touareg, the 2015 Porsche Cayenne, and the 2016 Audi A6 Quattro, A7 Quattro, A8, A8L, and Q5.

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The new disclosure covers about 10,000 passenger cars already sold in the United States since the model year 2014. In addition, the violation notice from the agency covers an undisclosed number of 2016 vehicles.

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The EPA said in September that Volkswagen had installed cheating software on many of its 2.0-liter diesel cars, which turned on pollution controls when the cars were being tested. In day-to-day use, however, the mandatory controls were turned off, providing the cars with better engine performance and fuel economy but emitting as much as 40 times the legal limit of nitrogen oxide, a pollutant linked to lung ailments.

The agency said Volkswagen would have to recall 482,000 cars in the United States once it came up with a way to fix its cars. Volkswagen has not yet disclosed how it will fix the cars.

The EPA found the additional defeat devices in new cars after it conducted new tests along with the California Air Resources Board and the regulatory group Environment Canada on all diesel cars.

“EPA and CARB discovered these defeat devices through the testing program being conducted by EPA, CARB, and Environment Canada,” said Janet McCabe, an official in the EPA’s office of air and radiation.

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Volkswagen has acknowledged that 11 million cars worldwide were equipped with cheating software embedded in vehicle computer systems. The admission cost Martin Winterkorn, the company’s hard-charging chief executive, his job. He had vowed to make Volkswagen the world’s biggest carmaker, overtaking Toyota.

The company, one of Germany’s largest, is now facing investigations in Europe and in the United States. It has already set aside 6.7 billion euros to cover the expense of recalling and repairing cars equipped with the illegal software, though by most estimates the scandal is likely to cost Volkswagen a lot more than that.

Volkswagen has suspended several high-ranking officials potentially associated with the deceit.