Up to 85,000 Volkswagen Group cars fitted with its 3.0-litre diesel are caught up in the dieselgate emissions scandal.

Earlier this month, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) alleged that cars fitted with the 3.0 TDi engine emitted up to nine times more NOx than legally permitted. Volkswagen and Audi have now admitted to the EPA that those do contain ‘auxiliary emissions control equipment’ the authorities had not been made aware of.

According to Autocar, the ‘equipment’ in question warms the exhaust catalyst from cold, reducing emissions and protecting the engine during colder starts. It is understood the equipment wasn’t declared during the homologation process and has therefore been deemedĀ illegal as it wasn’t registeredĀ as part of the EPA’s emissions tests.

Cynthia Giles, from the Office for EPA’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, said: “VW has once again failed its obligation to comply with the law that protects clean air for all Americans.

“All companikes should be playing by the same rules. EPA, with our state, and federal partners, will continue to investigate these serious matters, to secure the benefits of the Clean Air Act, ensure a level playing field for responsible businesses, and to ensure consumers get the environment performance they expect.”

The affected cars are understood to include the Audi A6, A7, A8 and Q5; Volkswagen Touareg and Porsche Cayenne models from the 2009-2016 model years. An Audi spokeman told Reuters that the ‘auxiliary emissions control equipment’ is ‘legeal’ in the EU.

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By Only Motors