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What has happened?

To date, allegations of emissions cheating have been focused on 1.2l, 1.6l, and 2l models fitted with a VW EA 189 engine. In 2015 the German carmaker, VW, the parent company to Porsche and Audi, admitted to fitting approximately 11 million vehicles with type EA 189 2l diesel engines with unlawful defeat devices. Thousands of people who bought affected VW cars in the UK are bringing claims against VW as a result.

Although the time for joining these claims has passed, further tests suggest that other engine sizes may also be fitted with unlawful defeat devices. These devices allow the cars to emit many times the regulatory limit of NOx emission standards.

The German motor authority, the KBA, has found impermissible switch off devices which turn off emissions control systems when the vehicle is operated in test conditions. In addition, independent tests have indicated that the Audi A6 V6 3l Euro 5, Audi A8 3 litre TDI, and the Porsche Macan 3.0 l V6 Euro 6 may turn down emission control systems below certain temperatures. Some Porsche 911’s may also be affected; this is being investigated by the manufacturer. Both manufacturers have suggested that emissions control systems are reduced at such temperatures to protect various engine components. However, following the CJEU judgment it is likely this will amount to an impermissible defeat device. Read about the CJEU decision here.

The KBA have ordered the recall of affected vehicles and mandated software updates to ‘fix’ the emissions. However, the consequences of such fixes, such as fuel efficiency and component life are not known.

In addition to Porsche and Audi models, the KBA has also found that the VW Touareg 3.0-litre diesel Euro 6 also contains an impermissible defeat device.

Read more about the emissions claims

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The scandal in numbers


Porsche cars recalled for presence 
of defeat device software


Audi V6s recalled across Europe


9 times regulatory NOx limit exceeded by affected models


Porsche fined for negligent breaches of supervisory duties

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Can I join?

The following models have been particularly implicated:

Audi A6, A7, A8 and Q5
Porsche Macan 3.0 litre V6 Euro 6
Porsche Cayenne 3.0 litre V6 Euro 6
VW Touareg 3.0-litre V6 Euro 6

However, anybody who bought a Porsche, Audi, or VW Touareg fitted with a 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine in England or Wales manufactured between 2009 and 2018 can apply to join the claim. If you bought or leased an affected vehicle in Scotland or Northern Ireland, you can still join a claim, but it will be handled slightly differently.

The litigation will be free at the point of use. Harcus Parker will act on a no-win, no-fee basis, and will pay any third-party costs which are necessary in order to progress the claims to trial.


NOx contains both Nitrogen Oxide and Nitrogen Dioxide. NOx is emitted when fossil fuels are burnt, but not completely combusted. Diesel engines are not 100% efficient, meaning that their exhaust emissions contain NOx, as well as greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, and air pollutants such as particulate matter. NOx worsens air quality and has adverse health effects including contributing to respiratory problems and cancer. Diesel cars are one of the main causes of pollution in our air.

These allow cars to turn down their emissions control system outside the emissions testing environment i.e. when the cars are driven in the real world. Not all defeat devices are cheating devices – some are allowed by regulations. However, in many cases they are used by manufacturers to give the appearance that their diesel vehicles pass emissions tests, when in fact they do not.

The term used to describe the emissions scandal which broke when the German car maker, VW, admitted to fitting more than 11 million of their VW cars with unlawful defeat devices leading to the first major emissions class action lawsuit in the United States.

We use this term to cover both owners of cars, and people who leased their cars.

A senior court of England and Wales dealing with high value and high importance non-criminal matters. This court ruled that it will be bound by findings of the KBA (the German motor authority) that defeat devices are present.