Audi and Porsche diesel cars sold in Europe have the same defeat device as the US-spec models

The Volkswagen Group has announced Euro-spec Audi and Porsche diesel cars have the same defeat device as their US-spec counterparts.

Approximately 10,000 cars sold in United States by VAG – including Audi and Porsche – have auxiliary emission control devices (AECD) according to regulators and this illegal trick made the cars pass the emissions tests even though in reality the vehicles emit up to nine times more smog-causing nitrogen oxide than the law permits.

Now, the Volkswagen Group has informed Reuters they used the same defeat devices on the diesel cars sold in Europe, with the old continent representing about 40% of VAG’s total sales. Volkswagen refused to detail exactly how many cars in Europe have this software, but according to analysts at Barclays the number could be 20 times bigger than in United States.

These problematic AECDs were installed in seven models from Audi, Volkswagen and Porsche during the 2014MY to 2016MY and five of the models are Audis. Interestingly, VW has admitted the auxiliary emission control device can also be found in some 2.0-liter turbodiesel engines of the 2016MY.

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While the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the United States says AECDs are totally illegal, Volkswagen has a different opinion as they say the software “does not alter emissions levels, but it ensures after a cold start [of the engine] that the catalytic converters quickly reach their working temperature and emissions cleaning takes effect.”

On the other hand, EPA described the defeat device as “an element of design which senses temperature, vehicle speed, engine RPM, transmission gear, manifold vacuum or any other parameter for the purpose of activating, modulating, delaying or deactivating the operation of any part of the emission control system.”

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Initially, the scandal was all about the EA189 1.2 TDI, 1.6 TDI and 2.0 TDI engines, but it seems the 3.0-liter TDI V6 also has its problems and now there are concerns that Volkswagen also fiddled around with the gasoline engines which it is believed have a higher fuel consumption and generate a lot more CO2 emissions than originally stated.

Adrian Padeanu

Long-time fan of the fabled Four Rings.