Newspaper article International New York Times

U.S. Finds VW Cheated on Porsche Models, Too ; Device to Foil Smog Tests Discovered in Carmaker's Most Profitable Brands

Newspaper article International New York Times

U.S. Finds VW Cheated on Porsche Models, Too ; Device to Foil Smog Tests Discovered in Carmaker's Most Profitable Brands

Article excerpt

The revelation by the Environmental Protection Agency adds pressure on Volkswagen, which had not disclosed that defeat devices were on a broader range of cars.

United States regulators said on Monday that they had found cheating software on more Volkswagen and Audi diesel cars than previously disclosed and had also found the illegal software for the first time in some of the car-maker's high-end Porsche models.

The revelation by the Environmental Protection Agency adds significant pressure on Volkswagen, which had not disclosed that the devices were on a broader range of cars than the company admitted to in September. Many of the cars are also sold in Europe.

Audi and Porsche are the source of most of the company's earnings, because profit margins tend to be much higher on luxury cars.

During the first nine months of this year, Audi generated operating profit of 4 billion euros, or $4.4 billion -- about 40 percent of the Volkswagen total; Porsche generated EUR 2.6 billion, or about 25 percent of the total.

The new disclosure also raises questions about what the company's new chief executive, Matthias Muller, might have known about the cheating. Mr. Muller was the head of Volkswagen's Porsche division before he was named to replace Martin Winterkorn, who resigned days after the E.P.A. first disclosed the problems on Sept. 19.

Volkswagen has already suspended several high-ranking officials who are potentially associated with the scandal.

The broader deceit was found in new testing that was conducted by the E.P.A., along with the California Air Resources Board and the regulatory group Environment Canada, on all diesel cars in the United States.

Officials at the agency declined to answer whether Volkswagen had alerted them about the fraudulent devices on some of its 3.0 liter engines at any point, citing the ongoing investigation. Instead, they said the devices were discovered only after regulators began road testing since September, Janet McCabe, the acting assistant administrator for the E.P.A.'s office of air and radiation, said during a conference call.

The disclosure adds a new chapter to the E.P.A. investigation of Volkswagen's deception. In September, regulators disclosed that Volkswagen had installed cheating software on many of its 2. …

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