UPDATE: Volkswagen Fitted Defeat Device to 3-liter Diesel SUVs, Sedans

Aaron Cole
by Aaron Cole
update volkswagen fitted defeat device to 3 liter diesel suvs sedans

The Environmental Protection Agency notified Volkswagen on Monday that cars equipped with 3-liter diesel engines included an illegal “defeat device” designed to cheat emissions tests, broadening the already damning scanda l for the automaker.

The cars included on the notification were the 2014 Touareg, 2015 Porsche Cayenne Diesel and 2016 models of the Audi A6 Quattro, A7 Quattro, A8, A8L and Q5.

“Volkswagen has once again failed its obligation to comply with the law that protects clean air for all Americans,” Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for the EPA said.

It’s unclear how many cars could be affected by the newly announced defeat device.

According to the EPA, cheating Volkswagen diesel cars would identify emissions tests and enter a “temperature conditioning” mode to illegally pass those tests. Those cars would alter their injection timing, exhaust gas recirculation rate and fuel pressure rates to induce higher exhaust temperatures and lower nitrogen oxide emissions. The high exhaust temperatures heat the selective catalytic reduction system (AdBlue or urea) to improve emissions scrubbing.

The “temperature conditioning” mode is timed to coincide with the federal emissions test program, and one second after the 75 initial tests are complete — which lasts 1,370 seconds, according to the agency — the vehicles switch back to “normal mode” with reduced emissions efficiency.

The EPA didn’t say whether Volkswagen admitted to the devices prior to being notified. The EPA didn’t specify whether the list of involved vehicles would grow to include older models.

A spokesperson for the EPA didn’t immediately respond to questions.

The agency, along with the California Air Resources Board, said the violations were uncovered as part of those agencies’ increased scrutiny on diesel emissions. Officials from both agencies said they haven’t identified any other cheat devices from any other automakers.

The notification could be damning for Volkswagen, who has maintained that its cheating program was isolated and relatively small. Defeat devices on another engine, across three lineups, may have been difficult to contain and may reveal more on how much Volkswagen of America knew about cars being imported to the country.

Audi and Porsche are likely to stop selling their affected vehicles in the U.S. after the EPA’s notice of violation, similar to Volkwagen’s stop-sale ordered in September. In Volkswagen’s case, roughly 1 out of every 5 cars sold was a diesel model. According to federal officials, cars already on the road are legal to drive

Volkswagen of America didn’t immediately comment on the letter. A spokesperson from Volkswagen Canada said only: “We are reviewing the EPA’s November 2nd notice and we are fully cooperating with the EPA’s investigation. No further comment at this time.”

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  • ExPatBrit ExPatBrit on Nov 02, 2015

    This weekend just opposite the entrance of my neighborhood two newish VWs were involved in an accident. Jetta and Beetle , both TDIs. No injuries. I said to my wife OMG this is so bad the TDI's are now committing Hara Kiri.

  • PentastarPride PentastarPride on Nov 03, 2015

    I'm convinced that this situation is being blown way out of proportion. Bigger scandals have (and are) unfolding in Washington DC yet nobody's yelling and screaming. I wouldn't even think about owning a Volkswagen or Audi (even though my fiancee has a VW Jetta, non-TDI), but I still think this is a bit ridiculous. At the end of the day, I'm pretty sure that these cars that have this "cheat" in their firmware will still be a lot better off in regards to emissions than a vehicle 20 or 30 years older. The EPA has singlehandedly destroyed the advantages of owning a diesel vehicle. They're not as efficient anymore due to the mandatory emissions systems. They're also not as reliable as they used to be and they cost a lot more to repair solely for the emissions systems. It's really nice to know how our tax dollars are being spent. Did I say spent? I'm sorry, I mean wasted.

  • 3SpeedAutomatic And this too shall pass.....Ford went thru this when the model T was introduced. It took the moving assembly line to make real money. As time progressed, it got refined, eventually moving to the Model A. Same kind of hiccups with fuel injection, 4 speed automatic, Firestone tires, dashboards with no radio knobs, etc, etc, etc. Same thing with EVs. Yep, a fire or two in the parking lot, espresso time at the charging stations, other issues yet to be encountered, just give it time. 🚗🚗🚗
  • Art Vandelay 2025 Camaro and Challenger
  • Mike Beranek Any car whose engine makes less than 300 ft-lbs of torque.
  • Malcolm Mini temporarily halted manual transmission production but brought it back as it was a surprisingly good seller. The downside is that they should have made awd standard with the manual instead of nixing it. Ford said recently that 4dr were 7% manual take rate and I think the two door was 15%.
  • Master Baiter It’s hard to make predictions, especially about the future. It will be interesting to see if demand for Ford’s EVs will match the production capacity they are putting on line.