EPA Issues Second Violation to Volkswagen for 3.0L V-6 TDI Diesel
Company Denies Emissions Cheating on Larger Diesel Motor
Just as things were starting to look up for Volkswagen, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will issue a second notice of violation of the Clean Air Act to Volkswagen AG; Audi AG; Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.; Porsche AG; and Porsche Cars North America. The notice applies to VW Group vehicles equipped with the 3.0L TDI V-6 diesel, alleging they are equipped with defeat devices that increase NOx emissions when the vehicle isn’t in an emissions-test mode.
Immediately after receiving the notice of violations, Volkswagen AG issued a statement emphasizing that no software was installed in the 3.0L diesel to alter its “emissions characteristics in a forbidden manner.” Volkswagen’s statement says that the notice of violations was due to a software function that had not been adequately described in the application process, but that the software didn’t illegally alter emissions. The company is cooperating with the EPA in the matter fully.
Porsche Cars North America issued a similar statement. In it, the company was "surprised to learn this information," and until the notice of violations was issued, all information that Porsche had on the Cayenne Diesel suggested it was fully emissions-compliant. The sports car manufacturer will likewise fully cooperate with all relevant authorities.
Both the EPA and California Air Resources Board (CARB) initiated investigations into Volkswagen’s 3.0L TDI, which is used in the 2014 Volkswagen Touareg, the 2015 Porsche Cayenne, and the 2016 Audi A6, A7, A8, and Q5. The alleged violations are in addition to the ongoing EPA investigation for a defeat device found in VW’s 2.0L TDI engines installed in 2009-2015 Volkswagen and Audi vehicles.
“VW has once again failed its obligation to comply with the law that protects clean air for all Americans,” said Cynthia Giles, Assistant Administrator for the Office for EPA’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “All companies should be playing by the same rules. EPA, with our state, and federal partners, will continue to investigate these serious matters, to secure the benefits of the Clean Air Act, ensure a level playing field for responsible businesses, and to ensure consumers get the environmental performance they expect.”
Following the discovery of the defeat device in the 2.0L Volkswagen TDI, the EPA notified manufacturers that it would initiate testing for all 2015 and 2016 light-duty diesel vehicles using updated procedures designed to root out defeat devices. That increased scrutiny is what led to the EPA’s discovery of a violation in 3.0L TDIs.
The news is disheartening to fans of Volkswagen, proponents of diesel, and auto enthusiasts as a whole. While it’s not clear how much, if any, knowledge Volkswagen execs had of the alleged defeat devices, nor is it clear what criminal or civil wrongdoing the company is liable for, it’s still sad to see what have been two of our favorite light-duty diesel engines dragged through the mud.
We hope Volkswagen, the regulatory bodies, and car buying public find an amenable solution that will keep those fun-to-drive cars and SUVs on the road and emitting safe levels of carbon, nitrogen, and particulate.
Source: Environmental Protection Agency