Audi Accused of Emission Software Cheat… Again

2016-audi-a4

Audi delivered more than 17,700 vehicles in October as the German automaker hit its 70th straight month of sales increases.

The fastest-selling Audis are the A4 sedan and Q7 SUV, while the smaller Q3 is building some serious momentum.

Audi is a success story in America and is one of the top luxury brands sold here, in spite of being part of Volkswagen’s now-infamous diesel emission scandal last year.

If Audi can weather one emission-related scam, can it possibly escape two unscathed? Looks like we’re about to find out.

Automotive News, thanks to German news outlet Bild am Sonntag, said that U.S. regulators found software in some Audi vehicles that lowers their carbon dioxide emissions if it detects they are being used under test conditions. Sound familiar?

This new revelation is, almost unbelievably, unrelated to the very similar news last September.

AutoNews said,

Bild am Sonntag said the software discovered by CARB (the California Air Resources Board), which was installed in vehicles with certain automatic transmissions, detected whether a car’s steering wheel was turned.

If it was not, indicating laboratory testing conditions, the software turned on a gear-shifting program which produced less carbon dioxide than in normal road driving. If the wheel was turned in any direction by more than 15 degrees, the program was switched off, the paper said.

Audi reportedly discontinued the use of the special software in May of this year and have suspended several engineers in connection with the problem. As we know from last time, though, this could do deeper than a few rogue engineers. The last scandal went all the way to the top of Volkswagen, and there’s no reason to believe that this latest software cheat ends with the suspended workers.

If this is true, it means Audi is responsible for two methods of cheating carbon emissions testing. Mark Clothier, a spokesman for Audi, responded to an email by only addressing the first scandal. He said, “We continue to work with regulators on an approved resolution for 3.0L TDI V6 vehicles in the United States. The court has ordered that these discussions remain confidential.”

With a new potential scandal on the horizon, can you forgive Audi a second time?

-tgriffith

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