July 28 (UPI) -- The German government ordered 22,000 Porsche Cayenne sport-utility vehicles be pulled after the automaker was implicated in a diesel-cheating scandal.
German Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt said the German government has evidence that Cayennes with 3-liter diesel engines sold across Europe use a device to cheat emissions testing.
"There is no explanation why this software was in this vehicle," Dobrindt said on Thursday. "These vehicles are equipped with modern emissions-controlling technology so we think these vehicles are technically able to stick to emissions limits and we therefore believe Porsche will quickly be in a position to bring the software into conformity [with the law]."
Porsche said it would take "full responsibility" for the infraction and cooperate with the government.
Volkswagen, which owns the Porsche brand, said it will "offer to refit four million vehicles and thereby significantly reduce emissions," chief executive Matthias Mueller said after meeting Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks.
Volkswagen has been suspected of diesel emissions-cheating scandals since 2015, when it was first discovered the automaker installed software in its vehicles to evade diesel emissions standards in the United States and Europe.
But the scandal goes back even further to 2006 when Volkswagen executives first made the decision to install the software as a way to increase its low share of the car market in the United States, reported The New York Times.
After a formal notice of violation in 2015, Volkswagen stock plummeted and has since failed to fully recuperate.
The company eventually pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the U.S. government and violating the Clean Air Act. It was fined $4.3 billion.