The stop-sale orders by the three brands, issued since late Tuesday, also ground several years’ worth of certified pre-owned diesel models from VW, Audi and Porsche. In addition, the freeze affects diesel nameplates and vehicles from model years that weren’t identified in the EPA’s violation notice Monday, but which use the same version of the 3.0-liter diesel engine alleged to have the illegal software, including the Audi Q7 crossover.
VW and Audi spokespersons said expanding the stop-sale beyond models and model years identified by the EPA’s Monday notice was a proactive move, and said the vehicles remain safe and legal to drive.
Not the same
Audi of America spokesman Brad Stertz said the company intends to meet with regulators in the coming weeks to discuss the violations.
He emphasized the parent company’s position that the 3.0-liter diesel vehicles do not contain the same cheat software that VW has admitted to installing on 2.0-liter diesel vehicles. The software at issue in the 3.0-liter diesel vehicles is an “auxiliary emissions control device” which the automaker failed to properly disclose to the EPA, Stertz said.
In general, such software regulates engine functions in a variety of ways and is legal if properly disclosed and observable on emissions tests, according to the EPA.
The agency on Monday said software on the 3.0-liter diesel vehicles activated during a limited portion of the EPA’s test cycle and held nitrogen oxide emissions to permissible levels. In other conditions outside the test cycle, the software was inactive and ran a “normal mode” that yielded NOx emissions up to nine times the level permitted by law.
Audi did not disclose the software to the EPA, which said Monday that “an AECD designed to circumvent emissions test is a defeat device.”
“The issue really is that how the AECD is used was apparently not fully disclosed,” Stertz said. “We want to be able to explain to them how it works.”