By on February 21, 2017

2014 audi a6 tdi engine

Audi appears to be going on the defensive and closing ranks around its CEO following a tumultuous week filled with accusations and revelations.

Late last week, the automaker fired four top engineers who worked on the brand’s diesel technology, including head of engine development Ulrich Weiss. Germany’s Handelsblatt reports that Weiss, who has been on paid leave since the diesel emissions scandal erupted, presented documents in court that appeared to show CEO Rupert Stadler had knowledge of the defeat devices as early as 2012.

Audi is now seeking charges against one or more individuals for “baseless accusations,” as well as revealing internal documents. Unfortunately for the automaker, another German media outlet has gotten its hands on an infamous PowerPoint presentation.

The automaker hasn’t said exactly who the lawsuit targets, or if it involves last week’s firings. Handelsblatt reports Audi will file the suit in its hometown of Ingolstadt, Bavaria, and could seek damages from one or more parties.

Weiss, who is suing Audi in a bid to return to work, claims the automaker targeted him to avoid taking the heat over the emissions scandal. The former engine chief’s lawyer calls him “a pawn” in a larger game.

Audi isn’t having any of this. In response to Weiss’ accusations, the automaker claimed Volkswagen Group’s internal investigation clears the company of wrongdoing.

“The Jones Day law firm has addressed this issue in extensive interviews and investigations,” the automaker stated. “As far as our company is concerned, all unanswered questions are now resolved.”

While all of this was going on, a damaging report in Germany’s Spiegel revealed portions of a 2007 PowerPoint presentation that mapped out how to deceive emissions regulators. The document proposes a urea injection system for diesel models with two operating modes. One, specifically for testing regimens, would eliminate 90 percent of nitrogen oxide emissions. The other, designed for normal driving, would see only a 30 to 70 percent emissions reduction.

The goal, apparently, was to reduce the amount of urea used so that the vehicles’ AdBlue tanks would only need refilling during scheduled service appointments. The PowerPoint singled out the 3.0-liter Volkswagen Touareg as an example. Having such a system in the U.S. market was “critical,” the document stated.

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19 Comments on “Audi Boots Top Engineers After One Accuses CEO of Involvement in Diesel Deception...”


  • avatar
    indi500fan

    Much fear and loathing at VW Group.
    Digital files seem to persist forever in a large organization and surface at inconvenient moments.

    • 0 avatar
      OldManPants

      This. No one at any level is immune to instantly and infinitely replicated snitch files.

      And except for IT security types, the more highly placed the executive the less likely he (Deutschland, after all) will even suspect this let alone have a clue which archives and logs to purge.

  • avatar
    Demon_Something

    VAG is basically hoping to get electric models in showrooms before anything gets worse at this point. In the interim, keep everyone in line. Hooray for corporate bureaucracy…

  • avatar
    brettc

    Bertel had an article on Forbes about this. Apparently the 3.0 Touareg TDI would have required 8 litres of DEF/Adblue per 1000 kms if it ran in “clean” mode all the time. With a 16 litre tank, drivers would have had to top it up every 2000 kms or about 1200 miles.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Sorry but that just doesn’t add up. DEF consumption should be about 2-3% of fuel consumption. If it needed 8l per 1000km that would mean .8l per 100km. Even if it needed the high range of 3% that would mean its fuel economy would be 27l/100km or less than 9mpg.

      • 0 avatar
        brettc

        Dunno, just passing along what I read, it was apparently quoted in Der Spiegel.

        “The diesel Touareg needed eight liters of urea per 1,000 kilometers (621 miles). The intended tank had only a 16-liter capacity. A Touareg driver would have to replenish AdBlue every 2,000 kilometers (1,243 miles). The engineers wanted the tank to be refilled during the scheduled service visit after 10,000 kilometers (6,210 miles).”

  • avatar
    e30gator

    What a circus. I wonder if anyone’s bought the movie rights yet?

  • avatar
    TMA1

    “Volkswagen Group’s internal investigation clears the company of wrongdoing.”

    And in other news, the fox has assured me that the chicken coop is secure!

    • 0 avatar
      87 Morgan

      I laughed my arse off on the same line. I will try this on my wife next time I am in hot water…

      Well, babe, based on my own internal investigation I have cleared myself of any wrong doing of staying out too late playing cards. So your accusation of me coming home at 3 am is baseless.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    I await the day that we hear other diesels have been doing this too, non German diesels.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Weiss “presented documents in court that appeared to show CEO Rupert Stadler had knowledge of the defeat devices as early as 2012”.

    That doesn’t seem like a ‘baseless accusation’.

    Also:
    “Weiss, who is suing Audi in a bid to return to work”… WHY? He’s been out for 17 months, and supposedly still wants to come back?! I doubt it. I suspect he’s simply on a mission from God at this point, trying to make sure everyone involved has their day in court.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    In the end, this VW mess will come back to the same thoughts opined on this site when the news first broke. It will/would be cheaper for them to come clean at the beginning, ask for forgiveness and move on. But, instead we get this shit show. Of course the top brass new, just like it was not the work of some lone engineer. It is not possible. The code was baked in to everything the did, as one of the base line assumptions.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    “Audi is now seeking charges against one or more individuals for “baseless accusations,” as well as revealing internal documents.”

    Errrr… VW, if you want anybody to believe that you have turned over a new leaf, suing the guy who proved your “internal investigation” was exactly as useless as everybody expected it was is probably not the way to go about it.

  • avatar
    lzaffuto

    Deny, deny, deny. Despite all the thousands approvals a car has to go through from conception to production, of course nobody in management, engineering, or sales knew anything about any of this. I have an idea. How about we ban VW/Audi from selling any cars until this gets figured out. I bet it gets sorted out real quick then.

  • avatar
    s_a_p

    Nothing runs this deep that isn’t systematic.

  • avatar
    Erikstrawn

    “The Jones Day law firm has addressed this issue in extensive interviews and investigations,” the automaker stated. “As far as our company is concerned, all unanswered questions are now resolved.”

    I’m waiting for Jones Day to suddenly present in court the Powerpoint where they were tasked with laying the blame on the engineers. Then Audi can sue them too. This scandal is the gift that keeps on giving!

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