This is a new find, as per Bild am Sonntag. Audi is the prime contributor to the VW group’s earnings. VW is currently holding talks with U.S. regulators on a proposed fix for its cars.
German news daily, Bild am Sonntag has reported, without citing any sources, U.S. regulators have found software installed in automatic transition of Audi’s vehicles which lowered emissions of carbon dioxide once it detected it was being used under test conditions.
Significantly, according to the paper, this is not the same software which blew up in VW’s face last year and triggered the diesel emissions scandal.
Last year, Volkswagen had admitted that it had installed software which deactivated pollution controls in more than 11 million of its diesel vehicles sold worldwide.
At that time, Audi had also admitted that its 3.0 liter V6 diesel engine was fitted with emission control software.
However, according to the German daily, this find is new. Discovered by CARB, the software was written to detect whether a car’s steering wheel was turned. If it wasn’t, the software then assumed that the vehicle was in laboratory test conditions and thus triggers a gear-shifting program which produces less carbon dioxide than normal on-road driving. If the steering wheel turned by more than 15 degrees, the gear shifting program switched off, said Bild am Sonntag.
Audi contributes significantly to VW’s profits.
Audi had stopped using the software in May this year, just before CARB discovered the manipulation in an older model, said the paper. Audi has also suspended several engineers in this connection.