Days after investigators found no evidence of wrongdoing by Audi boss Rupert Stadler, the company's head of powertrain development stands down
26 September 2016

Audi's head of powertrain development, Stefan Knirsch, has quit amid accusations he was involved in the Volkswagen Group's emissions scandal.

The board of management member, who had held his latest role for just nine months, is accused of knowing about the diesel engine emissions manipulation practices that were brought to light last year. Audi has today confirmed he has now stood down after being suspended by the brand.

The move comes just days after pressure was removed from Audi CEO Rupert Stadler (pictured below) following an investigation by US law firm Jones Day that found no evidence of his involvement.

Earlier claims had suggested Stadler, who was made chairman of Audi in 2010, was involved in the scandal because he had knowledge of the software used to manipulate emissions tests for the 3.0 TDI engine. Stadler maintained he had no prior knowledge of the affair, and it seems investigators have agreed with him so far.

Audi's involvement

The latest updates follow the leaking of documents in the German media that claim Audi was heavily involved in the manipulation of diesel engine emissions through the use of cheat software at the Volkswagen Group.

Citing email correspondence recently uncovered by internal investigators at Jones Day, German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung revealed that Audi engineers were actively involved in the decision-making process that led to emissions of the company’s own 3.0-litre V6 diesel being manipulated during tests in order to pass strict US regulations.

In an email from 2007 that was circulated to what is described as "a wide range of senior managers' at the German car maker, an Audi engineer outlined the difficulties in complying with the strict US regulations for nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions.

In the email, which was leaked to Süddeutsche Zeitung and two other media outlets, the Audi engineer is claimed to have written: “Without cheating, we cannot meet the US limits.”

Audi has denied its engineers were involved in the manipulation of diesel emissions, saying only that it had neglected to disclose a specific detail of the engine’s electronic control unit (ECU) with authorities in the US.

Audi officials contacted by Autocar refused to comment on the latest revelations, although sources at the German car maker suggest up to four engineers previously involved in the development of the company’s 3.0 TDI engine have been suspended while internal investigations by Jones Day continue.

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Comments
38

22 September 2016
Keeping a low profile is a good idea in a situation like this. NOx aren't the problem it's the publicity of their prestige cars having VW diesel engines

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

22 September 2016
They can only do what is possible. Ultimately the decision to cheat was a management decision.

22 September 2016
In a centralised German management system such as that in place at VAG it would be impossible for a few engineers to come up with a cheat device on their own initiative and have it installed in cars on the production line without management approval. The VAG management corps is showing itself to be cowardly and mendacious by trying to point the finger of blame at the people who simply carried out their instructions. As for Audi's reputation perhaps Dieselgate will once and for all prove to the buying public that when they buy an Audi they are actually buying a tarted up VW/Skoda/Seat.

22 September 2016
I think that other bad news will come out of this fraud and Vw will take a few years to recover from this.Unless you get a subsidized deal on pcp or contract hire it is too risky in i.m.o to buy outright or conventional loans where you are taking the risks on residuals.hence my preference for JLR ,BMW and Mercedes.VW as a brand do not make much profit as it is before setting aside massive costs of the scandal.The majority of profits derived from Audi and Porche.

22 September 2016
Volkswagen is at the cutting edge of diesel propulsion - a pre world war technology. Every one in the group from Porsche right down to Skoda knows they can not meet emission limits without cheating. But they did anyway. Allure of easy money. I suppose. And except for Americans who was going to catch them and make them pay. Anyway!

24 September 2016
fadyady wrote:

Volkswagen is at the cutting edge of diesel propulsion - a pre world war technology. Every one in the group from Porsche right down to Skoda knows they can not meet emission limits without cheating. But they did anyway. Allure of easy money. I suppose. And except for Americans who was going to catch them and make them pay. Anyway!

So fadyady says ," diesel propulsion is a pre war technology" actually it is a late 19th century technology just like the gas or petrol engine and also steam and electric cars.
" everyone in the group from Porsche right down to Skoda knows they can not meet emission limits without cheating" well it appears BMW, Mercedes, JLR, Chrysler Fiat, GM, etc have managed to produce diesels that meet US regulations with no problems requiring cheating.
As for the comment " and except for the Americans who was going to catch them and make them pay"
Well it could hardly be anyone apart from the Americans could it that found VW was breaking American laws. Please take time fadyady to read and absorb that the USA has different emission limits and rules than those applying in the EU and elsewhere in the world. Some of the US emission limits are more strict than in EU but those limits only apply to cars not many of the big selling trucks, pick ups to us Brits, that sell in huge numbers in the US.

26 September 2016
I wonder what's your affiliation with this crime (organisation) that makes you go splitting hair on my comments. Pre-war or 19th century - does that make a difference or is that what's under discussion here? If Volkswagen did not break EU limits what are they fixing? Audi denied for one month their 3l diesel is at fault. Now Audi boss has denied prior knowledge of it. Meeting emissions targets has been an industry wide expensive challenge. Volkswagen overnight came up with a no-cost solution and nobody high up noticed that. Come on mate! I can understand your bias for Volkswagen but this is wilful ignorance. VW Group CEO M. Winterkorn also denied prior knowledge of the diesel issue. Only one person in this whole organisation has so far spoken truly from the heart. Their US CEO. Who said: "We screwed up."

22 September 2016
And yet VW products dominate sales in the UK, no matter how much they've cheated and lied.
Obviously the altogether more solid sound of a door closing and the allure of well damped switches and soft touch dashboards hold a higher priority than dangerous levels of pollutants in our cities.
Two of my colleagues have bought Audis in the last couple of months and they both remarked upon how busy the dealer was.
So don't worry about your residuals.
That is unless the government decides to punish all diesels, a tax raising exercise under the guise of 'helping the environment.'
Lies. Everyone is at it.

tlb

22 September 2016
Outoftowner1969 wrote:

And yet VW products dominate sales in the UK, no matter how much they've cheated and lied.
Obviously the altogether more solid sound of a door closing and the allure of well damped switches and soft touch dashboards hold a higher priority than dangerous levels of pollutants in our cities.
Two of my colleagues have bought Audis in the last couple of months and they both remarked upon how busy the dealer was.
So don't worry about your residuals.
That is unless the government decides to punish all diesels, a tax raising exercise under the guise of 'helping the environment.'
Lies. Everyone is at it.

It's a bit hyperbolic to suggest people are ignoring dangerous levels of pollutants - the real world tests that have been performed have shown (as most people knew already) that all cars produce far more more pollutants than the official figures. Yeah they cheated in the lab, but in actual use VAG vehicles are much the same as any others. Fine to question if you'd want to buy a car from a company that uses such methods - but lets not pretend that a BMW/Merc or whatever are better in actual use.

22 September 2016
tlb wrote:
Outoftowner1969 wrote:

And yet VW products dominate sales in the UK, no matter how much they've cheated and lied.
Obviously the altogether more solid sound of a door closing and the allure of well damped switches and soft touch dashboards hold a higher priority than dangerous levels of pollutants in our cities.
Two of my colleagues have bought Audis in the last couple of months and they both remarked upon how busy the dealer was.
So don't worry about your residuals.
That is unless the government decides to punish all diesels, a tax raising exercise under the guise of 'helping the environment.'
Lies. Everyone is at it.

It's a bit hyperbolic to suggest people are ignoring dangerous levels of pollutants - the real world tests that have been performed have shown (as most people knew already) that all cars produce far more more pollutants than the official figures. Yeah they cheated in the lab, but in actual use VAG vehicles are much the same as any others. Fine to question if you'd want to buy a car from a company that uses such methods - but lets not pretend that a BMW/Merc or whatever are better in actual use.

In addition, nobody seems to have cared when it was found that Toyota kept hidden the 'unintended acceleration' issue - a safety problem that directly affected the owners and occupants of their vehicles...to be frank, what *is* surprising is that this VW issue has been going on for so long in the media

 

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