Germany Orders Recall of 22,000 Porsche Cayenne Diesels Over Alleged Emissions Cheating

The hits just keep coming for the Volkswagen Group.

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Germany has ordered the recall of 22,000 Porsche Cayenne 3.0-liter TDI models across Europe after the company's transport ministry announced inspectors had found a so-called "defeat device" that allowed the SUV to cheat on diesel emissions tests while overpolluting in real-world driving, according to the Associated Press.

Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt told reporters on Thursday that it appeared the Cayennes in question were equipped with software that allowed them to run a "a so-called warm-up strategy" that limited emissions of nitrogen oxide during testing conditions but dialed back those restrictions during normal driving.

"There is no explanation why this software was in this vehicle," Dobrindt said.

Since the Porsche Cayenne TDI is still in production, Germany has also imposed a registration ban on new models until a fix has been issued. The 3.0-liter V-6 diesel engine is the same one at the center of the U.S. Dieselgate scandal and subsequent buyback program, but Dobrindt believes a recall is sufficient in this case because the issue lies with the car's software, while the engines themselves are technically able to comply with the law, Reuters notes.

Either way, the Volkswagen Group will be footing the bill for yet another diesel-related recall. Porsche claims its own engineers discovered the cheating software during an "internal investigation," and pledged to take "full responsibility" for the matter. But internally, fingers are already being pointed. Last month, Porsche's labor boss Uwe Hueck gave an interview in which he lashed out at Audi executives for supplying a "rigged" engine to the rest of the Volkswagen brands and called for them to be fired.

Awkwardly, Volkswagen CFO Frank Witter was participating in an earnings call at the exact same time that Dobrindt made the recall announcement, and had no comment when questioned by reporters. He might want to get his remarks ready, though; according to Bloomberg, Dobrindt said there's a "high probability" the cheating software will be found in the Volkswagen Touareg TDI as well, though officials still need to test it.

Though diesel engines still account for about 15 percent of Porsche's global sales, that might not be the case for much longer. Porsche CEO Oliver Blume said in an interview last month that the brand may ditch compressed-ignition technology entirely in favor of electric car development.