Audi: 2.1 Million Cars have ‘Cheat’ Emissions Software
Audi has said 2.1 million of its cars worldwide were fitted with the software that allowed parent Volkswagen to cheat US emission tests. Some 1.42 million Audi vehicles with so-called EU5 engines are affected in western Europe, with 577,000 in Germany, and almost 13,000 in the US.
Affected models include the A1, A3, A4, A5, A6, TT, Q3 and Q5, a spokesman told the Reuters news agency.
Separately, German prosecutors started a probe against VW’s former boss.
Former chief executive Martin Winterkorn will be investigated over “allegations of fraud in the sale of cars with manipulated emissions data,” German authorities said on Monday.
VW said last week that 11 million cars within the group could be affected.
The scandal was revealed after the US Environmental Protection Agency found that some diesel cars were fitted with devices that could detect when the engine was being tested and could change the car’s performance to improve results.
The German company apologised for breaching consumers’ trust, and on Friday announced that Matthias Mueller was replacing Martin Winterkorn as chief executive. Mr Matthias promised a “relentless” investigation to uncover what went wrong. There were also unconfirmed reports on Monday that senior R&D heads working across the car group had been suspended. Reuters said the suspensions involved staff from the Audi, Porsche and the VW brands.
Meanwhile, Volkswagen shares continue to fall in morning trading, sinking a further 6.6% in addition to last week’s tumble.
The scandal has badly tarnished VW’s name, left it exposed to up to $18bn in US fines, and wiped a third off its stock market value in a week.
German authorities have demanded that VW set out a timeline by 7 October on how it will ensure its diesel cars meet national emission standards without using cheat technology. There were widespread German media reports at the weekend that the government ignored warnings two years ago that VW was using the software. However, on Monday, a government spokesman denied this.