A new discovery by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) shows that the extent of Volkswagen’s emissions cheating is much broader than previously reported. The agency found that software in the automatic transmissions of some Audi (part of Volkswagen Group) models allowed them to cheat carbon-dioxide emission standards. This revelation comes after Volkswagen has already been embroiled in controversy for cheating software in over ten million diesel cars, including federal penalties and a buy-back deal.
According to the CARB report, Audi models including the A6, A8, and Q5 were equipped with the defeat device software until as late as May 2016, nine months after the diesel-emissions scandal broke. The software worked by keying on movements of the steering wheel to detect when the cars were on the rolling roads used in the emission tests. When the cars diverged from lab conditions, the level of carbon-dioxide emissions rose significantly. This software was installed on both diesel and gasoline engines.
This latest evidence is likely to attract even greater regulatory attention and possible penalties. Currently, officials are also probing to see if Volkswagen committed fraud or violated securities law. That investigation, which has even extended to Chairman Hans Dieter Pötsch, is determining if the company manipulated the market by delaying the release of how the emissions cheating scandal would financially impact the company. This newest scandal could result in greater monetary penalties and brand value damage for the company.
Volkswagen is already the target of a class-action lawsuit based on the new revelations about emissions manipulation at Audi.