January 26, 2018 / 7:30 PM / 4 months ago

Porsche readies software update to placate German watchdog

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Volkswagen’s Porsche said it plans additional software updates on certain diesel-engined versions of its top-selling Macan SUV after reports on Friday it was facing a possible ban on sales.

It said the move was related to an agreement between German politicians and car bosses struck in August to overhaul engine software on 5.3 million diesel cars to cut pollution and try to repair the industry’s battered reputation.

Sports car maker Porsche AG is owned by Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE), which in 2015 admitted to systematic manipulation of engine management software to cheat emissions tests.

Porsche said on Friday it would shortly present to Germany’s Federal Motor Transport Authority, KBA, plans to update the software on 14,000 Macans with 3.0-litre six-cylinder diesel engines in Germany, a total 52,500 vehicles Europe-wide.

It had already done a separate software update on more than 8,600 Macans with 3.0 litre engines, starting in the autumn of 2016, it said.

Porsche’s comments come after German weekly Bild am Sonntag earlier on Friday reported that KBA was considering a ban of Macan vehicles with six-cylinder TDI engines and had demanded a Feb. 1 meeting with Porsche to discuss the matter.

Weekly magazine Spiegel separately reported that KBA was also scrutinising Porsche’s Cayenne and Panamera models.

Porsche said it was also discussing with KBA possible similar measures for Cayenne model vehicles with 4.2-litre eight cylinder diesel engines, affecting around 7,000 vehicles across Europe.

German authorities already recalled 22,000 Cayenne vehicles with smaller 3-litre diesel engines last year after potentially illegal emissions controlling software was discovered in the vehicles.

Porsche said the latest generation of Cayenne and Panamera models were not available in a diesel version.

Earlier this week, Germany’s transport ministry said that KBA had ordered a recall of tens of thousands of vehicles made by Audi (NSUG.DE), Porsche’s sister brand, after detecting illicit emission-control software in its latest Euro-6 diesel models.

The measures affected some 127,000 Audi vehicles worldwide, including 77,600 vehicles registered in Germany.

Porsche’s diesel engines are supplied by Audi.

    Reporting by Jan Schwartz; Writing by Edward Taylor and Maria Sheahan; Editing by Alexander Ratz and Elaine Hardcastle

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