Uh Oh, the U.S. Found Another Emissions-cheating Device in Audi Vehicles

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
uh oh the u s found another emissions cheating device in audi vehicles

A U.S. regulator has come across another emissions-cheating device on a Volkswagen Group product. This isn’t more of the same — rather, it’s an entirely different apparatus used on vehicles until well after the company’s diesel emissions scandal became public knowledge.

This isn’t a great time for Volkswagen to be caught with its pants down for not disclosing something they were already in big trouble for. With the company trying to wrap things up with the Department of Justice, the new report from German outlet Bild am Sonntag could sour things.

According to the paper, the California Air Resources Board discovered the new emissions-cheating software four months ago. Sonntag claims the software was installed in vehicles with certain automatic transmissions, and sensed whether a car’s steering wheel was being turned. A stationary wheel is indicative of a stationary platform, like those used for testing purposes.

During these conditions the vehicle ran a different shifting program, one that reduced carbon dioxide emissions and overall fuel consumption. Turning the wheel 15 degrees in any direction canceled the program entirely, returning the car to its normal mode for road use.

The paper states that the device had been implemented in several hundred thousand Audi vehicles equipped with automatic transmissions, including the Q5, A6, and A8. The usage of the device was discontinued in May of 2016, which is a full eight months after Volkswagen’s emissions scandal became public knowledge.

Nether CARB or Audi have been available for comment on this morning’s report.

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7 of 94 comments
  • Dukeisduke Dukeisduke on Nov 07, 2016

    The article calls it a "device", but it's really just a calibration setting, right?

    • JimZ JimZ on Nov 07, 2016

      "defeat device" is a blanket term for anything which disables all or part of the emissions control system. can be a physical device or just a PCM software routine.

  • Heavy handle Heavy handle on Nov 07, 2016

    Am I missing something here? The car goes into a different shifting mode when you are cornering. No sh!t. Modern cars do that. Automatics hold a gear longer in a corner than when going straight. The reasons why you don't want to upshift in the middle of a corner are self-evident. Modern cars also change their shift maps if you are going up, or down, a hill, or if it's below freezing, or if the wipers are on. Next thing you know, people will tell us that torque vectoring is also the product of a vast global conspiracy. It only works when cornering!

    • See 1 previous
    • Scoutdude Scoutdude on Nov 07, 2016

      Yeah, if the steering wheel hasn't been turned more than 15 degrees since start up it shifts at X rpm, to reduce fuel use. Once the steering wheel has been turned 15 degrees or more it shifts at Y rpm and continues to do so for the rest of that trip for better performance and driveabilty.

  • Pch101 Pch101 on Nov 07, 2016

    "During these conditions the vehicle ran a different shifting program, one that reduced carbon dioxide emissions and overall fuel consumption." Statements like these are confusing because you make it sound as if CO2 emissions and fuel consumption are two separate matters. They are the same thing. CO2 emissions are the result of burning fuel. Higher fuel economy = lower CO2 emissions. The only difference is that measuring CO2 grams per mile/km accounts for the differences between the carbon content of different fuels such as gas and diesel, while MPG does not.

  • Dal20402 Dal20402 on Nov 07, 2016

    Rotten to the core. VW upper management are a bunch of fraudsters, no more, no less. And it's increasingly clear that they're unrepentant about it and will continue doing it. A shame, as they make some compelling products.