Audi confirms cheat software in 2.1M cars; EU prosecutors eye ousted CEO
Audi has confirmed that Volkswagen’s emissions-cheating software has been installed in approximately 2.1 million of its luxury vehicles worldwide.
The vast majority were sold in Europe, including 577,000 units in Germany, a spokesperson told Reuters. Affected models include select diesel-powered variants of the A1, A3, A4, A5, A6, TT, Q3 and Q5.
The numbers are comparatively minimal in the US market, where the company sold just 13,000 A3 sedans outfitted with the offending 2.0-liter TDI turbodiesel engine.
Reports surrounding Volkswagen Group’s emissions crisis have mostly focused on the US market, where the company faces potential fines of up to $18 billion, numerous civil lawsuits, several criminal investigations and a tarnished brand. With 11 million cars affected globally, however, the damage is beginning to spread.
Less than a week after VW ousted CEO Martin Winterkorn, the executive now faces a criminal investigation in home Germany, according to The Wall Street Journal. He recently claimed to be “unaware of any wrongdoing on my part.”
The government inquiry will attempt to determine if he or any other executives can be charged for their roles in the alleged fraud.
“We are investigating Winterkorn and other responsible people,” a spokesperson for the prosecutor said. “We are pursuing every possible lead.”