The ongoing Dieselgate scandal at the Volkswagen Group regarding special software created specifically for the sole purpose of allowing cars to cheat during the emissions tests might increase even more in magnitude according to the latest report. German weekly newspaper Bild am Sonntag says the California Air Resources Board discovered about four months ago a special software in one of Audi’s automatic gearboxes developed to artificially lower emissions. The paper says the software in question is different than the one that led to the Dieselgate and was used not only in TDI-powered cars, but also in models fitted with gasoline engines.
Bild am Sonntag goes on to specify CARB found out the software was able to detect whether the vehicle’s steering wheel was turned or not. Installed in certain automatic gearboxes, the software kicked in whenever the steering wheel was in its normal position, as it would be in testing conditions. Once the steering wheel was turned by more than 15 degrees in any direction, the software was automatically switched off.
With the software turned on, the automatic transmission worked in a “low-rev mode” switching gears in such a way as to artificially reduce engine revs and consequently lower fuel consumption and emissions.
Without citing any sources, Bild am Sonntag mentions Audi stopped using the software back in May this year, right before CARB discovered the trick in an older model. The report mentions several hundred thousand cars fitted with the AL 551 transmission have the special software, including models such as the Q5, A6, and A8.
At the moment of writing, CARB and Audi have not issued any sort of comments related to this new alleged discovery, but if it’s true, it means VAG will have to face even more self-inflicted difficult times. It may be a company too big to fail, but another Dieselgate could have some massive repercussions and change the car industry altogether.