The Volkswagen Group is at the center of another emissions cheating scandal. Yes, roll your eyes and sigh, because we all hoped the Germans had actually learned their lesson.
It was Audi caught red-handed this time, and CARB was the one who did it, according to a report from BILD am Sonntag, a German newspaper. This may or may not be accurate, mind you, because the original report doesn’t cite sources. So far, CARB hasn’t confirmed or denied the report, which claims this cheat was discovered months ago.
You have to give engineers at Audi some credit, because they designed an ingenious system. Upon startup, a special program modifies how the transmission behaves, maintaining low engine revs and fewer emissions. Once the steering wheel turns in excess of 15 degrees, the program shuts off. Supposedly, the cheat isn’t used on Audis since the whole Dieselgate scandal. If you’ve noticed real-world fuel economy for your Audi isn’t near the EPA rating, this could be why.
Basically, the cheat works when vehicles would most likely be tested: sitting in a bay, not on the road. With the EPA, CARB and everyone else wise to past cheats, more tests are being done while cars are actually driving down the road. Maybe that should’ve been the plan all along?
Once we have any official word of an Audi emissions cheat we’ll let you all know. Stay tuned.