Green-ITInnovation

Emissions Tricking Software Prompts Recall Of 22,000 Porsche Cayenne Cars

As News Editor of Silicon UK, Roland keeps a keen eye on the daily tech news coverage for the site, while also focusing on stories around cyber security, public sector IT, innovation, AI, and gadgets.

Follow on:

Porsche denies the findings but will honour the recall

The alleged use of illegal emissions-controlling software by performance car maker Porsche has prompted Germany’s transport minister to order the recall of 22,000 Cayenne vehicles.

Last month Der Spiegel magazine reported it had been told by a source that Porsche had used illegal software to put is diesel 3-litre Cayenne cars into a “warm up mode”, whereby the engine could be controlled to meet emissions regulations, but then could switch the engine into a higher performance and more polluting mode when it needed access to more horsepower. 

Der Spiegel had conducted its own testing on the Cayenne and reportedly discovered that the emission the car produced were higher than regulations allow.

However, Porsche responded noting that the findings are unconvincing and volunteered to carry out joint tests with Der Spiegel, though the magazine has refused such an offer. 

Sly software 

exhaust emissionsGerman transport minister Alexander Dobrindt noted the transport authorities had examined the Cayenne models and that they contain software that allows for an “impermissible deactivation strategy” that enables the cars to pass emissions tests yet switch to the higher performance the brand is known for at the expense of increased emissions. 

Porsche responded by saying it had detected irregular management software in the Cayenne and it would willingly foot the bill for the recall. 

 “Porsche has detected irregularities in the engine control software during internal investigations and has actively pointed this out to the Kraftfahrtbundesamt (KBA), German Federal Motor Transport Authority. The irregularities are not related to the transmission control software. Corrections by means of a software update within the scope of a recall were agreed with the authority,” Porsche said in a statement. 

“Regardless of the recall, Porsche continues to carry out internal audits on its vehicles and derive optimisations from them. Furthermore, the company is still in close contact with the authorities, in particular the German Federal Motor Transport Authority, on all current matters.”

This is not the first time a German car maker has been accused of using software to manipulate emission testing. In 2015, Volkswagen, Porsche’s sister firm admitted it had cheated emissions tests and was forced to recall millions of vehicles that had sneaked through the emissions regulations. 

At a time when cars are being stuffed with more and more technology, and contain large amounts of software as well as electronics, it would appear the the scope of tech-heavy cars extends beyond just better navigation, infotainment and driver aids. 

What do you know about tech in transport? Take our quiz!