Now I love Audi’s (Obviously) but it would be remiss of me not to post about the latest bad news to come from the US regarding the German car makers emissions cheating antics and before we go any further for those of you who are Audi owners and of a nervous disposition, please go grab yourself your relaxing drink of choice and put on some mellow tunes to help keep you calm.
A year on since the parent party Volkswagen was hit with near bankruptsy, German media has reported the discovery of a second illegal software function in automatic transmission Audis.
German newspaper “Bild am Sonntag” reported on Sunday that the Californian Air Resources Board (CARB) had discovered another illegal software function in an automatc transmission in Audi last summer.
The paper said the device, which was not the same as the one which triggered last year’s diesel emissions scandal at Audi’s parent company, Volkswagen, was also used in gasoline and diesel-powered cars in Europe.
The illegal software deactivated pollution controls on more than 11 million diesel vehicles sold worldwide, triggering the deepest business crisis in the German carmaker’s history.
Investigators found that the cars emitted more than 40 times the legal limit of nitrogen oxide, which can cause respiratory problems.
Officials from the California Air Resources Board allegedly discovered four months ago that some Audi engines were rigged to produce lower CO2 emissions in labs than in normal road use, according to a person familiar with the situation, potentially opening a new front in U.S. and European investigations.
Volkswagen, Audi and CARB officials discussed the allegation “some months ago,” the person said.
The allegation is the latest twist in a broader scandal that has embroiled Volkswagen. U.S. environmental authorities disclosed on Sept. 18, 2015 that the company installed software on about 500,000 diesel-powered vehicles in the U.S. that American authorities consider illegal. Volkswagen later admitted to installing the software on nearly 11 million vehicles world-wide, I have yet to find reports of any similar findings outside the US but rest assured I will keep searching and post any updates when available.
Audi figured that the only time the car would run with the steering wheel never moving would be in a lab, on a test bed. This is a similar philosophy to the classic ‘dyno mode’ cheat that kicked off Dieselgate. It’s so simple, and apparently it was enough to get Audis to pass emissions tests in lab situations they might have never passed in real world conditions.
The cheat was only implemented on cars with an automatic transmission with an internal designation AL 551. This appears to be a particular variant of the eight-speed unit Audi sources from transmission supplier ZF, set up for Quattro models. It apparently covers several hundred thousand vehicles under the cheat, according to Bild am Sonntag’s reporting. Diesel engines and gasoline engines are both affected here, and models involved include the Audi A8, the Audi Q5 as Forbes notes, as well as the Audi Q7 if my knowledge is correct, please feel free to add your own information if I am mistaken.
So all in all this could be a very troubling few weeks for Audi ‘Suits’ not to mention sales and service managers throughout the world.