Volkswagen is facing a new set of questions after U.S. regulators began testing the company’s Porsche and Audi brands for emissions cheating devices.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said late on Monday VW used devices to rig air-pollution tests in 3.0-litre diesel engines mostly found in Audis and Porsches. Those vehicles are the company’s biggest source of income.
VW had previously admitted to installing the cheat devices on nearly 11 million Volkswagen vehicles throughout the world.
VW said on Monday “no software had been installed … to alter emissions’ characteristics in a forbidden manner” on the larger engines.
Arndt Ellinghorst, an analyst at banking advisory firm Evercore ISI, says, “It appears that it is the EPA that has discovered this violation and not VW, raising concerns around reporting, transparency and integrity within VW.”
The company’s stock has been battered over the last six weeks, losing more than 25% of its value and long-time CEO Martin Winterkorn was forced to resign.
VW’s supervisory board will hold a special meeting next Monday to discuss the financial implications of the scandal. The company has already taken a 6.7 billion euro hit to cover initial costs. The company could end up spending more than 35 billion euros on the scandal .
The company is also scurrying to figure out who is responsible for the scandal. Sources inside VW claim that 10-20 employees may have been involved.
In the meantime CEO Matthias Mueller, a former Porsche CEO may soon find himself asking more questions about the sports vehicles and his part in what could prove to be another scandal.
Some analysts and investors criticized the appointment of Mueller as group CEO, questioning whether a company veteran was the right man to lead an overhaul of the business.
In its second notice of violation of the Clean Air Act, the EPA said around 10,000 vehicles in the United States for model years 2014 through 2016 were equipped with 3.0 liter diesel engines using an illegal “defeat device” to lower emissions.
Vehicles has been spewing up to nine times the legal limit in the United States.
It’s not clear how many of the 3.0-liter engines VW has sold worldwide.