The German transport ministry has identified up to four different emission defeat devices in software code used by Audi’s V6 diesel engine, according to separate reports published by Germany’s Bayerischen Rundfunk and Handelsblatt.
The various defeat devices are claimed to have been developed by Audi to provide models fitted with its turbocharged 3.0-litre engine with lower emission readings during government mandated tests on rolling roads under controlled conditions than actual results on public roads.
The various defeat devices are said to have been used in vehicles produced up to the beginning of 2018, more than two years after US authorities made public findings that Audi parent company, Volkswagen, had used similar illegal software functions in various diesel models.
The German transport ministry issued Audi with a forced recall of various models fitted with the V6 diesel engine in January 2019, confirming up to 200,000 vehicles in Germany were suspected of using an illegal software function the German car maker labelled as a “Motoraufwärmfunktion” or engine warm-up function.
This so-called Motoraufwärmfunktion is, in fact, a secret defeat device used to manipulate emission results, say representatives of the German transport ministry.
Models from Volkswagen and Porsche were also affected.
Information in an addendum to the German transport ministry report obtained by Bayerischen Rundfunk and Handelsblatt identifies a further three defeat devices. Three additional defeat devices were not deemed illegal despite the report suggesting they facilitated functions leading to emission manipulation.
In the report, the various defeat devices are listed as A, B, C and D, according to Bayerischen Rundfunk and Handelsblatt.
However, the German transport ministry states only one can be identified as being illegal, suggesting Audi was free to voluntarily remove the other three functions from its software code as part of the recall announced earlier this year.
Both Bayerischen Rundfunk and Handelsblatt report it is apparent from the report that the German transport ministry did not undertake testing leading to the discovery of the defeat devices but relied upon information provided by Audi.