The Audi A3 is alleged to be using emissions-cheating technology following discrepancies in emissions tests carried out by the German federal transport authority Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt (KBA), according to reports in the Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) newspaper.
It's reported that, following the findings of the KBA, subsequent tests on the A3 by the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission suggested that "Audi has manipulated the diesel engine of its bestseller A3”.
The emissions are alleged to have been manipulated on the A3 fitted with the 2.0 TDI engine after it was revealed that exhaust gas measurements varied according to temperature, which, SZ reports, is evidence of the use of a so-called defeat device. The A3 in question was facelifted earlier this year, months after the Dieselgate scandal emerged.
These findings contradict the KBA’s declaration of the car's compliance with Euro 6 rules. It is also suggested that the KBA skipped pivotal tests in the process of approving the car, the first time that an official government body is alleged to have colluded with a car manufacturer in order to manipulate test results.
The allegations come more than a year after the Volkswagen emissions scandal initially broke and not long after Audi’s alleged test manipulation using steering and automatic gearbox-based software that detected when emissions were being evaluated. Porsche is also under current investigation for a similar issue.
According to the SZ, Audi has brushed off the allegations, insisting that the A3 does not use a so-called defeat device.
The A3 has been one of the ten best-selling cars in the UK in 2016.
Audi AG issued the following statement: "We do not have any information on the tests - neither on the mentioned measurements nor on what engine was installed in the A3 TDI mentioned. Therefore, please respect that we cannot comment on the report.
"However, it should be noted that different measurements from other testing institutes prove that the A3 2.0 TDI is within the legal limits of EU6.”