Some Audi models fitted with an automatic transmission and an adaptive shift program are generating inaccurate results during the emissions tests.
The story originally made the headlines more than a week ago when German weekly newspaper Bild am Sonntag said the California Air Resources Board had discovered a cheating software, which doesn’t have anything to do with the Dieselgate. As you would imagine, VW refuses to call it a “defeat device.” Instead, it’s saying some Audi models fitted with an automatic transmission are equipped with an adaptive shift program that “can lead to incorrect and non-reproducible results” while the cars are being tested to find out the level of emissions.
Bild am Sonntag mentioned the software is smart enough to automatically detect when the car is undergoing testing by checking the position of the steering wheel to see if it is turned as it would be during regular driving. If not, the software triggers quicker transmission gear changes in such a way as to reduce CO2 emissions and nitric oxides, according to Germany's Sueddeutsche Zeitung. In response to these accusations, VW mentions:
“Audi has explained the technical backgrounds of adaptive shift programs to the Federal Motor Vehicle Authority KBA and has made available technical information.”
KBA has been appointed by the German government to analyze the situation and VW mentions it will continue to collaborate to solve the issue affecting both gasoline- and diesel-powered Audis.
Bild am Sonntag says the Environmental Protection Agency in United States has already started an investigation to find out the truth behind the newly discovered software and will have a chat this week with senior engineers from the VW Group. Sources close to the matter are saying EPA will be making inquiries to figure out whether the software can be categorized as a defeat device. If it will, it means there’s going to be another problem VW will have to solve while tackling the costly Dieselgate.
Source: Volkswagen via Reuters