Porsche is suspected of using technology to cheat in emissions tests

Porsche under investigation over emissions testing

Image credit: David Villarreal Fernández

Germany’s regulators are investigating whether software designed to detect emissions testing was in use in with Porsche sports cars, a marque belonging to the Volkswagen Group.

Germany’s Motor Transport Authority KBA announced they were investigating whether software designed to measure the angle of the car’s steering wheel was in use in Porsche, which at that time was led by current Volkswagen Group CEO Matthias Mueller.

The suspicion casts more negative light on Volkswagen, still recovering in the wake of the revelations 15 months ago that it had used emissions-cheating devices in diesel cars of several of its brands to switch on emissions-scrubbing technologies during testing. As a result, the test emissions appeared much lower than those in real-world driving.

The KBA is now investigating whether Porsche also used software which might have been able to detect testing conditions in order to turn on emissions-reducing technology.

The KBA is already conducting a similar investigation into VW's Audi brand, which supplies diesel engines to Porsche.

A Porsche spokesman said steering wheel movements were not used to detect whether a car was undergoing an emissions test.

“This is not done with any Porsche models,” the spokesman said, adding Porsche was fully cooperating with the KBA.

VW was not immediately available to comment.

VW admitted in September 2015 to using illegal “defeat device” software in the US to disguise the true level of toxic emissions from diesel engines, sparking the biggest business crisis in its history.

It has agreed a multi-billion dollar settlement with US authorities and is spending billions more to refit vehicles and speed up the development of electric cars.

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