BERLIN -- German regulators are investigating whether Porsche illegally manipulated fuel economy data on its vehicles, potentially opening a new front in parent Volkswagen Group's emissions-cheating scandal.
Germany’s Transport Ministry and Federal Motor Transport Authority are examining whether Porsche installed devices allowing its cars to sense whether they were being tested for fuel consumption and carbon-dioxide emissions, representatives at both agencies said today. That type of technology allows manufacturers to falsify results by making cars appear more energy efficient during tests.
German magazine WirtschaftsWoche reported earlier that unidentified people close to Porsche tipped off the Transportation Ministry to the alleged cheating. According to the report, some Porsche cars can detect whether they’re on a test bed based on the lack of steering wheel movement during operation. German authorities started a similar investigation targeting Audi in November, the magazine said.
Porsche said technology that allows its cars to sense steering movements are used to improve the car's performance when driving and are not related to emissions testing. A spokesman said the company rejected allegations that its cars manipulate test results, adding that the automaker is cooperating fully with the authorities on the investigation.
VW Group has so far set aside 18.2 billion euros ($19.7 billion) for fines and related expenses after acknowledging last year that it rigged 11 million diesel vehicles to cheat on emissions tests. The revelations have increased scrutiny of auto emissions with regulators around the world stepping up investigations.