Confirming a report in news weekly Der Spiegel, Germany's transport ministry told AFP it was investigating the use of a new "illegal defeat device" in some 60,000 Audi cars, half of which are driving on German roads.
According to Spiegel, the current A6 model is equipped with software that deliberately slows down the use of a special pollution-cleaning fluid in the final 2,400 kilometres of its life span, to avoid drivers having to refill the so-called AdBlue liquid in between regular service updates.
But reducing the AdBlue function also drastically lowers its effectiveness in neutralizing the engine's harmful nitrogen oxides, making the diesel cars far more polluting during that time.
Germany's transport ministry said its KBA vehicles licensing had opened a probe into suspicions that Audi equipped some 60,000 "A6/A7 models" with a cheating device, "around 33,000 of them in Germany".
The alleged AdBlue scam differs from the one that sparked Volkswagen's "dieselgate" crisis in 2015, when the auto giant admitted to installing software in some 11 million diesels worldwide that could detect when a vehicle was undergoing pollution tests and reduce emissions accordingly.
It looks like VW's response to being found out using software to cheat on emissions has been to upgrade the software so it becomes harder to detect. [Mish note: Audi is owned by VW].
Germany's Federal Motor Transport Authority yesterday announced that it is investigating Audi for fitting its vehicles with another type of a software cheating system, different from the one used by VW. FAZ writes that, if these suspicions prove correct, there will have to be a financially disastrous recall of 33,000 cars in Germany and 60,000 in the rest of the world.
When they [VW] got found out, the car companies simply removed one of five cheating devices, and continued to use the rest.
Clean Diesel - Honest
Last month, German engine maker Bosh announced a new "clean" diesel engine.
Even if the claim was true, no one in their right mind would believe it. Besides, the world is headed electric.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock