There was a lot of commotion the other day when it was announced that Audi was found by United States investigators. Many said that this wasn’t a cheat at all. Let’s first look at how it is in the first place.
The cheat, as reported on originally by German newspaper “Bild Am Sonntag,” said that the AL551 eight-speed automatic transmission was found to force engine revs lower in an attempt to burn less fuel. A few of our fans said that this was a common place thing and was available on their own cars. This is, in fact, illegal as it’s an attempt to artificially inflate MPG numbers in a controlled environment (aka, a testing tunnel or rolling road environment). This mode then turns off when the wheel is turned 15 degrees in either direction.
Jalopnik explained exactly why this is wrong:
Basically, the car knows when it’s on a stationary emissions-testing rig and has secret programming for just this time.
So if you car has it, which it shouldn’t in the US, that means that it’s an emissions cheat. So now that this is settled, here’s what’s happening to Audi now.
This is a class-action suit for all those owners of cars affected by Audi’s supposed new cheat, specifically naming 3.0-liter gasoline engine equipped cars with the aforementioned automatic transmission. You can find the full details here if you think you could be included. For the rest of us, let’s take in this line, pointed out by Automotive News and posted in full in Business Wire:
“Throughout the yearlong Dieselgate scandal, Audi chose to continue to deceive consumers across the country with yet another emissions-cheating device installed in even more of its vehicles,” said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman. “This kind of flagrant disregard for federal environmental regulations and consumers’ expectations is unacceptable, and we intend to hold Audi to the law on behalf of those who overpaid for Audi’s noncompliant, polluting cars.”
So it looks like the woe’s of VAG are continuing and there will be no end in sight. Especially in the US. With these new revelations, there will likely be a vastly larger investigation moving forward on all VAG products.
I for one offer to test each and every Lamborghini produced in the last 10 years, along with the R8 range. Just doing my patriot duty, of course.