VW Admits Audi Software 'Distorts Emissions' While Also Billing It as a Feature

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
vw admits audi software 8216 distorts emissions while also billing it as a feature

As U.S. and European authorities gear-up for another round of investigations, Volkswagen confirmed Audi did produce cars equipped with software that can distort emission test results. Although VW was careful not to be too committal in its wording, hinting at it being a handy driver’s assist instead of a defeat device.

This must be a great time to be a corporate lawyer.

Reuters reports VW admitted to Audi’s emissions-influencing software, discovered by the California Air Resources Board over the summer.

Last week, Germany’s Bild am Sonntag broke the news that CARB discovered emissions cheating software in an older Audi model unrelated to the device that kicked off last year’s diesel emissions cheating scandal. The news this time wasn’t so much that VW had a new defeat device, but that it kept installing it on Audi vehicles months after the initial emissions scandal became public knowledge.

The Board’s discovery linked the Audi software to an idle steering wheel that altered the shift program in certain Audi models with automatic transmissions. The software essentially allows the car to detect testing conditions and alter the shift pattern to decrease carbon dioxide and nitric oxide output.

In a response published in Germany’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Volkswagen admitted, “Adaptive shift programs can lead to incorrect and non-reproducible results” in a testing environment.

“In normal use, these adaptive systems support the driver by adjusting the gear-shifting points to best adapt to each driving situation.

“Audi has explained the technical backgrounds of adaptive shift programs to the [German] Federal Motor Vehicle Authority and has made available technical information,” VW continued, noting there will be more talks commissioned by the German government and VW will conduct its own investigation.

Interviews include a renewed interest in Audi CEO Rupert Stadler, who will be returning to speak with U.S. law firm Jones Day. Commissioned by the supervisory boards of VW Group and Audi to investigate the diesel-emissions scandal, Jones Day initially gave Stadler a clear bill of health. However, in the wake of a secondary scandal focusing around Audi, Automotive News says the CEO is wanted for more questioning.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission also wants a federal judge to allow the agency to take additional testimony from Volkswagen Group over recent allegations the German automaker intentionally destroyed documents relating to the company’s diesel emissions scandal.

[Image: Volkswagen]

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3 of 21 comments
  • NeilM NeilM on Nov 14, 2016

    It could be a legitimate artifact of adaptive shifting if not for two things: (1) failure to revert, and (2) VAG.

  • APaGttH APaGttH on Nov 14, 2016

    At some point, one has to question VAGs viability in the United States market.

    • Tosh Tosh on Nov 14, 2016

      I've been questioning it since Renault, Alfa, and Peugeot left, leaving VW-Audi as undisputed WORST POS sold here. And now on top of that they've been cheating the whole time?!

  • Kwik_Shift A nice stretch of fairly remote road that would be great for test driving a car's potential, rally style, is Flinton Road off of Highway 41 in Ontario. Twists/turns/dips/rises. Just hope a deer doesn't jump out at you. Also Highway 60 through Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario. Great scenery with lots of hills.
  • Saeed Hello, I need a series of other accessories from Lincoln. Do you have front window, front and rear lights, etc. from the 1972 and 1976 models
  • Probert Wow - so many digital renders - Ford, Stellantis. - whose next!!! They're really bringing it on....
  • Zerocred So many great drives:Dalton Hwy from Fairbanks to the Arctic Circle.Alaska Marine Highway from Bellingham WA to Skagway AK. it was a multi-day ferry ride so I didn’t actually drive it, but I did take my truck.Icefields Parkway from Jasper AB to Lake Louise AB, CA.I-70 and Hwy 50 from Denver to Sacramento.Hwy 395 on the east side of the Sierras.
  • Aidian Holder I'm not interested in buying anything from a company that deliberately targets all their production in crappy union-busting states. Ford decided to build their EV manufaturing in Tennessee. The company built it there because of an anti-union legal environment. I won't buy another Ford because of that. I've owned four Fords to date -- three of them pickups. I'm shopping for a new one. It won't be a Ford Lightning. If you care about your fellow workers, you won't buy one either.