By on August 24, 2020

Officially, the word is “manipulated.”

That’s what Porsche suspects, and the ominous presence in this plot is apparently calling from inside the house. According to a German newspaper, the automaker has launched an internal investigation into possible manipulation of its gasoline engines.

This isn’t a case of after-the fact tweaking, which would only get a car’s owner into hot water. In this matter, it’s the automaker who could be found liable for rule-breaking.

Bild am Sonntag (via Reuters) reports that Porsche has notified Germany’s federal motor transport authority and the Stuttgart prosecutor’s office about the possible tampering, as well as authorities in the United States. The issue apparently surrounds changes to both software and hardware controlling exhaust function and unspecified engine components.

If this sounds an awful lot like the emissions-tampering scandals of the past half-decade, you’re not alone. Volkswagen Group and Daimler have both found themselves in the crosshairs of regulators for tinkering with engine management systems in the hopes of eking out additional power and fuel economy at the expense of tailpipe emissions. Those efforts, however, usually took place on diesel engines.

The report claims the suspected manipulation took place on engines developed between 2008 and 2013, singling out the storied 911 and Panamera as models potentially afflicted.

“Porsche is regularly and continuously reviewing technical and regulatory aspects of its vehicles,” a Porsche spokesman told Reuters. “As part of such internal examinations Porsche has identified issues and has, just like in the past, proactively informed authorities.”

In the wake of Porsche’s notification of trans-Atlantic authorities, Bild am Sonntag claims the KBA has already launched a probe.

[Image: Porsche]

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21 Comments on “Porsche: Someone May Have Tampered With Our Engines...”

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Time for another office raid.

    • 0 avatar

      Wouldn’t surprise me, I assume they make the tune richer (black smoke) to help when its really hot or something along those lines. Makes you really think about the real reasons why these things come with military grade encrypted ECU’s. And it aint just Porsche! Example, the 392 mopar was designed to produce 500hp, but it couldn’t meet emissions like that so it was de-tuned to 470 and then bumped to 485.

  • avatar

    It’s those pesky temps they hire in the summer, when everyone else is taking a well deserved 6 week vacation. They get in there and start rewriting the code to turn off all the emission stuff, those rascals!

  • avatar
    R Henry

    The Ghost of Ferdinand Piech is still haunting VW.

  • avatar

    We seem to have reached peak ICE development, where the only way we can simultaneously get cleaner and more powerful is to lie about one of the two.

    Seems like a good indication it’s time to go EV. Then we can argue about how to make power plants cleaner instead. I’m in the build-them-nukes camp, if we can figure out where and how to store the waste safely for the next several thousand years.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I’ve been back and forth on nuclear; it’s great until it isn’t. Having visited Chernobyl last year, that 1000 sq mile wasteland is testament to bad design, bad politics, and ineptitude.

      But as you say, dealing with the waste is a longstanding issue, but that boils down to politics. Nobody wants it in their area, or even traveling past their neighborhood. The Obama Administration killed the Yucca Mountain project, and no other solution has been embraced.

      • 0 avatar

        Micro-reactor technology looks interesting, but there is still the question of the waste.

        Then there’s fusion. Just 30 years away! ;^)

        I think I read somewhere that the magnets in the tokamak of this thing are capable of lifting an aircraft carrier. We might actually make fusion work someday.

      • 0 avatar

        Living near an active nuke plant, I’m not worried about today. The problem is after it is shut down, and the wastes sit under the same tin shed they are now… Two corporate owners later, it’ll be in the river, and we all get to pay for cleanup……there is a reason it’s no longer owned by our actual utility.

  • avatar

    EV is nothing but a passing fad.

    • 0 avatar

      @randy: “EV is nothing but a passing fad.”

      Yeah, the instant torque is awesome for passing, but there a lot of other good points as well.

      • 0 avatar

        If you live in the fire zones in California, you might want a Honda gasoline generator to charge your Tesla to escape the flames. You get no torque when a blackout prevents you from recharging the battery. California is showing the way by revealing all the energy problems the states and federal government will face soon.

        It’s not just the renewables and how they interface with fossil fuel electrical generation, it’s the design of the grid itself. The national and state electrical grids were designed in the 1950s, and ever-increasing usage has pushed the grid up to and now past its limits in California, and soon in other states.

        EV’s are great to drive and great for air quality and other environmental issues, but they may deliver the coup de grace to our electrical grid, unless it’s massively redesigned and rebuilt.

        • 0 avatar

          Not sure if you forgot the /sarc…? A wildfire (or any power outage scenario) is literally the perfect time to have a properly equipped/rigged EV in the garage. You won’t be charging it with a gas generator (wtf?) – the *EV* will be what’s powering your house in an emergency. You could run a fridge and computer/internet on an EV for WEEKS. And then when it’s gets low, drive it to the next county over that does have power, charge it up, and return home.

          But yes, our nearly third-world power grid/solar generation capabilities will still need heavy investment in the next decade.

    • 0 avatar

      Wheeled vehicles are a fairly recent innovation – something like 0.00004% of the age of the universe, and less than 3% of human history. (Enjoy them while they last.)

  • avatar

    I don’t care for any of these features. A car with good visibility does not need a backup camera, and blind spot detection is handily taken care of with spot mirrors. Basically I see this list of “features” as yet more reasons not to buy a new car.

  • avatar


    Some engineers couldn’t meet specifications at the set cost point and “adjusted” the software so drivers would actually want to drive their vehicles.

    Am I missing something?

  • avatar

    Someone did something

  • avatar
    Tele Vision

    “Someone soiled my trousers!”

  • avatar

    Tesla! Tesla! Tesla!

  • avatar

    Bosch did it ! Wasn’t that the prior defense ?

  • avatar

    Typical Germans, they blame everyone else because they never make mistakes…

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