LAKEWOOD (CBSLA.com) — Volkswagen’s emission scandal grew as the German automaker was accused Monday of cheating again, this time involving luxury vehicles.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, VW installed so-called “defeat-device” software on about 10,000 SUV’s and luxury cars with a 3-liter, six-cylinder diesel engine to emit fewer pollutants during tests than in real-world driving. While on the road, the cars emit up to nine times more nitrogen oxide pollution than allowed by EPA standards, the agency said.
The affected models include the 2014 Touareg, the 2015 Porsche Cayenne, and the 2016 Audi A6, A7, A8, A8L, and Q5.
The so-called defeat device in the six-cylinder engines was discovered by the EPA and the California Air Resources Board with tests put in place in late September. That was after VW admitted it rigged emissions tests for 11 million cars worldwide with four-cylinder diesel, 2-liter engines, including almost 500,000 in the U.S. Among the affected vehicles were the Jetta, Passat, Golf and Beetle.
Frank Simon of Lakewood still has the letter from Volkswagen from September informing him about his diesel Passat. He said he is not surprised by the latest accusations. “I feel betrayed and deceived,” Simon said. “Once something comes out, everything gets scrutinized.”
“They need to go into a laboratory and figure out what they can do to keep these cars on the road because the alternative is to buy all of them back,” said Joe Buechler, owner and president of Tony’s Auto Repair in South Gate.
But a quick fix is what has some car owners, like Simon, concerned.
“What will it do? I’m worried it will sacrifice my performance because the car has a lot of getup-and-go,” Simon said. Instead, he wants his money back. “Or I have no problem buying a gas equivalent,” he added.
Simon is hoping he doesn’t have to join one of the many lawsuits already filed. But he is preparing for that, just in case.
In a notice of violation sent to VW, EPA officials said the automaker “knew or should have known” that by employing the software, the cars were not in compliance with Clean Air Act emission standards.
Volkswagen did not respond to CBSLA’s request for comment. But the automaker denied the latest allegations in a released statement: “No software was installed in the 3-Liter V6 diesel motors to change the emissions values in any impermissible way.” It pledged to “fully cooperate with the EPA to clarify this situation.”
The EPA said a recall will happen within the next year, and owners will not need to pay for any repair or action required. But first, Volkswagen has to come up with a plan, which has to be approved by the EPA. All the affected vehicles are said to be safe and legal to drive for now.