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Porsche Recalls 22,000 Cayenne V-6 TDIs Over Diesel Defeat Device

Porsche has been ordered to recall another 22,000 3.0-liter V-6 Cayenne TDI models after German investigators found "defeat" software included in the code of test vehicles.


Porsche has recalled 22,000 3.0-liter V-6 TDI Cayennes to fix a software problem that has resulted in the crossovers losing their legal status because the German Transport Ministry withdrew their certification. The recall follows an announcement Thursday by Porsche, a subsidiary of Volkswagen, that it discovered irregular engine management software during an internal emissions investigation. Porsche ordered to recall 22,000 Cayenne TDIs

VW Will Do Upgrade for Free

Porsche agreed to fix the problem at no cost to owners. “The producer will of course bear 100 percent of the costs,” Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt announced. “There is no explanation why this software was in this vehicle.”

Dobrindt said that during their tests of the 3.0-liter Porsche Cayenne TDI the vehicles used a defeat device, similar to one that was at the center of the Dieselgate scandal that engulfed its parent Volkswagen AG. Dobrindt said that in their testing they found “these vehicles deploy a so-called defense strategy, which isn’t activated in real traffic. In our view, this is a kind of test recognition which we regard as an impermissible deactivation strategy.”

"The producer will of course bear 100 percent of the costs," Dobrindt said. "There is no explanation why this software [“defeat device”] was in this vehicle."

The most widely used fix for this “device” is a software update that deletes it from a vehicle’s emissions software stack. A defeat device allows a vehicle to seem as if it is passing emissions testing when it, indeed, is failing the tests. Such a vehicle can emit up to 9 percent higher levels of nitrous oxide (NOx) into the atmosphere.

Other vehicles have been cleaned up with a combination of a software upgrade and the use of AdBlue doping (urea formaldehyde) that cuts the levels of NOx drastically. The contaminated AdBlue remains in storage tanks until they burn in a catalytic converter.

Even If Vehicle Clean, If Software Is There Vehicle Needs Upgrade

“Even if there is a modern exhaust gas cleaning system in these vehicles, if this software is nonetheless there it is illegal does not meet legal requirements and needs to be removed,” Dobrindt emphasized. He indicated Porsche should be able to fix these vehicles quickly and make them legal. When they are legal, they can be recertified.

Germany certified a total of 7,500 vehicles while another 22,000 certification in Europe. “We don’t know how many are with dealers. These are the cars that fall under the certification ban.”

Cayenne shares many components with Volkswagen’s high-end crossover the Touareg. Dobrindt was asked about the VW crossover and said: “On the technical question, it is assumed that this vehicle has a similar parameter set, but identical construction does not mean the same software was used in it, but it is assumed that the same software was used.”

The Transportation Ministry was checking Touareg and a hearing with VW would show whether what was true for Cayenne was also correct for Touareg. He did add the “probability is high.”

VW Official Has No Comment During Conference Call

Frank Witter, VW CFO, had no immediate comment about the Porsche recall during a VW earnings call held with analysts Thursday.

Prosecutors in Stuttgart have been looking at Porsche after some models were fitted with 3.0-liter V-6 turbodiesel engines supplied by Audi. Audi is currently also under probe in Munich for its role in designing the troubled 3.0-liter V-6 turbodiesel.

Sources: Autoblog, Reuters