Porsche is the latest car company to announce a vehicle recall due to emissions cheating software. In the past couple years, General Motors and Volkswagen have also installed devices to pass emissions tests, specifically for diesel vehicles. Although the Porsche recall only affects cars in Europe, it is important to understand the dangers of this cheating technology. First, what is emissions testing and why is it critical for our vehicles?
Understanding Emissions Testing
In Connecticut, drivers are required to bring their vehicle in for an emissions test cycle when it is between four and 25 years old. This procedure is necessary to ensure your vehicle is emitting a safe amount of exhaust emissions for its particular engine and our environment.
A test can be failed for several reasons, including a faulty oxygen sensor, a defective ignition system or a vacuum leak. In the event an engine fails, the driver has 30 days before a retest to have proper maintenance performed.
Dangers of Emissions Cheating Software
These software-based “defeat devices” are designed to engage a vehicle’s emissions-control system when it’s about to undergo an emissions test. Under these conditions, the vehicle passes an emissions test – although the vehicle actually emits more emissions than permitted by the Clean Air Act of 1963.
In the case of Porsche Cayenne SUVs specifically, this vehicle has a “warm up mode” that is engaged during emissions testing to comply with the emissions requirements for its engine.
The main concern here is the excess air pollution caused by these vehicles. When Volkswagen diesel vehicles produced between 2008 and 2015 were studied, it was discovered that more than 482,000 cars were emitting 40 times their permitted amount.
A 2015 MIT study concluded that these excess emissions would cause about 60 premature deaths in the next 10 to 20 years. Causes of death and health complications include chronic bronchitis, respiratory and cardiac conditions.
Another danger of emissions cheating software? Other issues with the vehicle could go unnoticed during testing. The emissions cycle is often a good measure for people who need to have work performed on a failing engine, so it continues to function properly.
If your vehicle has been recalled due to emissions cheating software, your health is at risk from exposure to exhaust fumes or you’ve been in a motor vehicle accident with someone who failed an emissions test, contact our team of lawyers today.