On Monday, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said that it found “cheating software” on more Audi and Volkswagen vehicles than previously disclosed. The agency also said it found the illegal software in a few Porsche models.
The agency says that Volkswagen installed “defeat device” software to fool United States emissions tests on diesel cars into believing they met certain environmental standards. The defeat devices made sure that the actual emission levels, which were in some cases 40 times the level legally permitted in the United States, were hidden. This hidden software, which switches a vehicle’s engine to a much cleaner mode during testing, may have been installed in over 11 million cars worldwide.
The agency now says that the devices were installed in certain Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche diesel vehicles equipped with 3.0-liter engines in 2014 through 2016 models.
The EPA listed the vehicles covered in its latest violation notice as the diesel versions of the 2014 VW Touareg, the 2015 Porsche Cayenne and the 2016 Audi A6 Quattro, A7 Quattro, A8, A8L and Q5.
The latest disclosure covers approximately 10,000 passenger cars already sold in the United States.
In light of the accusations, former VW CEO, Martin Winterkorn said that he acknowledged responsibility for “irregularities found in diesel engines” but claims he did not know anything about the alleged engine manipulation. He stated that, “I am shocked by the events of the past few days. Above all, I am stunned that misconduct on such a scale was possible in the Volkswagen Group.”
Winterkorn resigned amidst the scandal and the company is still trying to deal with the fallout.
Indeed, the fallout is extreme, to put it mildly. At least 482,000 cars will be recalled and VW could face penalties of greater than $18 billion in the United States alone. The cars will be recalled once the company comes up with a way to fix the problem. As of now, Volkswagen has not yet disclosed how it plans to do so.
The EPA found the additional defeat devices in more models than originally thought after the agency conducted new tests along with the California Air Resources Board and the group, Environment Canada, on all diesel cars.