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Porsche Launches Probe into Gas Engine Cheating

A new wrinkle in VW Group’s diesel engine emissions scandal?
#Porsche #Volkswagen #Audi

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Volkswagen’s Porsche brand is investigating evidence that some of its gasoline engines were illegally manipulated.

Porsche has alerted regulators in Germany and the U.S. of the possible modifications, which apparently involve emission cheating, Bild am Sonntag reports.

Illegal Changes

The newspaper cites a vaguely worded Porsche statement that refers to “suspected illegal changes to hardware and software” of engines developed between 2008 and 2013. Bild says the affected engines were used in 911 sports cars, Panamera sedans and unspecified other models.

The report says Porsche has been interviewing employees and examining hundreds of thousands of emails to assess the suspected cheating. KBA, Germany’s federal motor transport authority, also has opened its own investigation.

Porsche says there is no evidence that engines currently in production are affected.

Beyond Diesel Rigging

VW Group admitted five years ago to rigging 11 million diesels so they could pass emission certification tests but then emit many times more pollution under actual driving conditions. The company has paid out some $30 billion for fines, owner restitution and environmental remediation—$25 billion of it in the U.S.—since then.

But this isn’t the first time the group’s gasoline engines have come under suspicion for similar infractions.

In 2016, a federal lawsuit in Chicago claimed the company’s Audi unit used illegal software in at least 100,000 gasoline-powered A6 and A8 sedans and Q5 and Q7 crossover vehicles at least between 2013 and 2015.

What It Means

VW Group has faced nonstop legal action since its diesel cheating scandal broke five years ago.

Just this month the company has seen more former Audi executives charged with wrongdoing, with new waves of diesel lawsuits in the U.S. and across Europe.

The prospect of a similar wave of litigation over Porsche gasoline engines is the last thing the group needs now.

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