VW Touareg recalled in further emissions scandal blow for German manufacturer

13 December 2017

13 December 2017

German vehicle authority the KBA has announced a global recall of some 3.0-litre diesel Volkswagen (VW) Touareg SUVs after finding two emission control devices installed in the model.

VW installed such devices in some diesel vehicles to pass strict emissions tests in the US. In 2015, the cheating was discovered, and the company fined which, together with compensation, totalled around $30 billion (€25.5 billion). However, while the company has denied any wrongdoing in other markets, specifically Europe, there have been recalls to remove such devices from vehicles.

The latest recall affects the latest Euro 6-engine vehicles, of which there are 57,600 globally, and 25,800 in Germany alone.

′Two inadmissible switch-off devices were found upon examination of the VW Touareg 3.0-litre diesel Euro 6 by the Federal Motor Vehicle Authority,’ the KBA said.

The diesel emissions scandal first broke two years ago, however, since the revelations, new evidence of ′defeat device’ deployment continue to emerge throughout the group. Earlier in December, the company announced that it had stopped deliveries of its T6 Multivan model after detecting that diesel versions emit higher nitrogen oxide (NOx) levels. This was then reported to the KBA.

German newspaper Der Spiegel reported that the carmaker had set an emissions-related so-called ′adjustment factor’ too low when seeking KBA approval for the model. A VW commercial vehicles spokesman said it is looking into signs that ′certain technical data’ cannot be fully confirmed by reviews of the T6 model’s actual and planned emission levels.

The spokesman ruled out the possibility that the engine management software was the cause of the uncertainties and said VW had agreed with the KBA to run further tests.

Meanwhile, in July, 22,000 Porsche Cayenne SUVs were recalled due to device detection. As a result, Porsche is seeking €200m in damages for the 3.0-litre Audi diesel engines which the brand featured in its Cayenne SUV and was later discovered to have the emissions-cheating software. Audi themselves were subject to a recall of a number of models, while it admitted that 3.0-litre vehicles in the US were fitted with cheating software as well.

The KBA said that an emissions-lowering ′warming-up strategy’ that got activated on the Touareg model when the vehicle was examined in static roller-bed tests carried out under the new European driving cycle (NEFZ) did not, for the most part, go into operation in road testing.

Also, KBA said that on Touareg models fitted with costlier selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems, it detected a strategy that, under certain conditions, illegally restricts the use of AdBlue, a urea-based liquid needed to help filter nitrogen oxides from diesel emissions.

The automaker has adjusted production of the Touareg and developed a new engine software to help fix the affected vehicles, KBA said.

Photograph courtesy of Volkswagen