German car authority KBA has begun probing Porsche over suspected incorrect fuel consumption data for the company’s gasoline-powered cars, according to a report from Business Insider. A Porsche spokesperson told Reuters in an email that “The current procedure has already been able to find no conformity deviations in the large majority of vehicles,” but the company made a voluntary notification to KBA as “a precautionary measure” a year ago. So what does all that mean?
Apparently there are conformity issues with individual vehicles not meeting the standards set by the company, rather than entire product lines. Whether this is a coding issue or a hardware issue, that isn’t clear. The spokesperson explained that the number of vehicles affected by this non-conformity was “far less” than one percent of Porsche’s sales numbers.
No decision has yet been made as to what to do about this issue, and KBA’s investigation is still in early stages.
While this issue does not appear to be large, widespread, malicious, or even intentional at this point, it’s important to remember that Porsche and others in the Volkswagen group are still under intense scrutiny thanks to the Dieselgate shenanigans of the last decade. It’s obvious from these statements that Porsche is attempting to make itself as transparent as possible in the effort to track down the issue, but that’s likely due to the deep hole it has to dig itself out of with global automotive authorities.
If the fuel economy issues do end up affecting larger percentages than have been claimed here, Porsche could be in for a long road of legal issues and large international fines. Like hundreds of millions of dollars large.
Remember back to 2013 and the case of Kia lying about the fuel economy achieved by its Soul compact, and the disaster that caused? Back eight years ago now, Kia advertised its Soul as achieving 27 mpg city and 35 mpg highway, when in reality it was getting closer to 24/29 in the real world. Yeesh. Both Hyundai and Kia were found to have been inflating their fuel economy numbers on models in basically every segment. This turned out to be a massive scandal, which resulted in the Korean automaker giant shelling out over $300 million in fines and tens of millions in fuel reimbursements to customers who purchased the cars under the old fuel economy rating.
It’s pretty obvious that there’s no cause for alarm in the case of Porsche yet. It’s possible that the investigation will uncover something deeper here, but it’s still far too early to tell. As soon as more information is made available, you can rest assured that you can find it right here on FlatSixes. In the meantime, tell us about your fuel economy in your Porsche. Have you been achieving numbers alarmingly less than your car’s advertised EPA rating? And do you think that it’s because you have a heavy throttle foot, or because Porsche made a mistake when building your car? Even worse, do you think Porsche is lying to you and the world?