What is it about these German manufacturers that compel them to cheat on emissions numbers? We’ve seen it from Volkswagen, Mercedes, and Audi; and now Porsche. Volkswagen’s journey into emissions cheating became known as “Dieselgate.” Porsche is under investigation over phony gas-engine emissions numbers.
Germany’s motor vehicle authority KBA is investigating Porsche AG over the manipulation of gas engines to achieve improved emissions data. The engines in question were all made before 2017. Porsche says that an internal investigation found “irregularities.”
Last year Porsche was fined $632 million for cheating on diesel emissions tests
Just last year Porsche was fined $632 million for cheating on diesel emissions tests. The fine was for “neglecting supervisory obligations that were linked to diesel emissions cheating.” Investigation of its gas-powered engines is ongoing. A Porsche spokesperson said that the focus is on vehicles manufactured several years ago.
The weekly magazine Bild am Sonntag suggests the engines in question were built between 2008 and 2013. They powered Panameras and 911 models. They estimate illegal changes to the hardware and software allowed for both changes affecting the exhaust systems and engine components.
According to Reuters, the KBA is even sorting through company meeting minutes and emails. As Volkswagen owns Porsche as well as Audi, Skoda, and Seat; if they also are involved in their own cheating shenanigans? An Audi spokesperson told Reuters, “Audi AG is constantly and continuously reviewing technical and regulatory aspects of various vehicle types.” That doesn’t answer the question, however.
“Porsche is regularly and continuously reviewing technical and regulatory aspects of its vehicles”
Porsche is at least appearing to be helping authorities and trying to minimize the damage both to our environment and its own reputation. A Porsche spokesman said, “Porsche is regularly and continuously reviewing technical and regulatory aspects of its vehicles. As part of such internal examinations, Porsche has identified issues and has, just like in the past, proactively informed authorities.” Sound familiar? Supposedly the internal investigation started in June.
This is the second case of scrutiny at Porsche this summer. Volkswagen AG Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch and former VW Chief Executive Matthias Mueller agreed to pay a $1.8 million fine. They were being investigated for “failing to warn investors about the growing fallout of the VW emissions scandal.”
Poetsch always maintained he knew nothing about the scandal until it was revealed in the US
Both Poetsch and Mueller were members of the board of Porsche Automobil Holding SE. Poetsch has always maintained he knew nothing about the scandal until it was revealed in the US in September of 2015. Some have come forward to say he knew as early as June of 2015.
If the scrutiny turns up evidence of cheating then Porsche may have to pay another big fine. But it is doubtful it would be required to recall any of the cars affected.