Now the Porsche Cayenne Is Implicated in Dieselgate

EPA fingers the fast ute (and Audi A7, and many others) for cheating on emissions tests.

Throughout the Dieselgate kerfuffle, consumers has been led to believe that a urea tank—that bulky, expensive, piss-filled reservoir—is the price automakers pay to pass stringent U.S.-market nitrogen oxide emissions tests. It’s why only non-urea four-cylinder diesel engines were implicated in Volkswagen’s 11-million-vehicle, multibillion-dollar, global shitstorm.

Clearly, we all were huffing something.

In a new filing, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced that the VW Group’s venerable 3-liter diesel V-6 engine was not in compliance with regulations on nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions. The agency also found that select model years of Volkswagen’s Touareg and Porsche’s Cayenne SUVs—along with Audi’s A6, A7 and A8 sedans and Q5 SUV—were fitted with similar test-duping software found on cheater four-cylinders.

The EPA says models equipped with the 3-liter TDI emitted up to nine times the legal amount of NOx—which can combine with atmospheric moisture to create vapors that damage lung tissue, particularly among asthmatics.

Laura Allen, a spokesperson for the EPA, says the agency will follow “a similar process” with the VW Group brands to establish next steps, though she emphasized that no recall was immediately imminent for the 3-liter models. “We’re in discussions with the manufacturers,” she allows.

The news is particularly damning, as VW Group had touted its next-gen 3-liter TDI as a technology showcase: the first of its kind to integrate a catalytic converter, a diesel particulate filter and a urea-injection system into one compact unit. The revelations hurt the fanboys. They hurt the fanboys bad.

Further, the violations will do no favors to contain U.S. consumers’ mushrooming wariness over diesel engines. Until now, proponents could argue that violations were limited to one engine from one manufacturer that resisted the one feature—a urea tank—that would’ve kept turbodiesel model sales gurgling along. But suspicion has increased in concert with cylinder count.

And with each passing day, diesel’s advocates become diesel’s apologists.