Audi reportedly created the defeat device used by VW in Dieselgate

In another Dieselgate revelation today, a German newspaper, Handelsblatt, claims that Audi engineers developed the “defeat device” used by VW in 1999.

While there has been some speculation that a major outside firm provided the engine management program that contained the “defeat device” which enabled Volkswagen diesels to meet emissions standards, it is not the case. Volkswagen’s luxury subsidiary, Audi, reportedly developed the software, a newspaper reported today.

In an advance of a story, that was to appear on Wednesday in Handelsblatt, a German newspaper, Audi, Volkswagen’s luxury subsidiary, created the “defeat device” software routine in 1999. The routine was used to cut emissions a full six years after the software was developed.

VW admitted six months ago that it had installed the software in 11 million vehicles worldwide when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a Notice of Violation to the automaker. At that time, EPA said 482,000 four-cylinder diesel vehicles used a “defeat device” so the vehicles could meet tough U.S. standards for oxides of nitrogen (NOx). The number of vehicles in the U.S. was rapidly expanded to 600,000 when investigators found that the same engine management software was used on six-cylinder diesel engines.

According to the newspaper report, Audi software engineers developed the routines needed to turn on and off various engine functions. However, VW’s luxury division never implemented the routine. The story cited industry and company sources. Six years later, VW engineers at the automaker’s Wolfsburg headquarters couldn’t bring emissions levels into compliance with NOx emissions standards, so the engineering team installed the software developed by Audi.

Both Volkswagen and Audi declined to comment on the newspaper report, citing the ongoing internal investigation being conducted by the U.S. law firm Jones Day. Volkswagen has said that there will be a substantial report on the investigations findings by the end of the month.

Volkswagen’s supervisory board will discuss the potential costs of the Dieselgate scandal and approve 2015 earnings on April 22, a day after a court-set deadline for VW and U.S. regulators to agree on a solution for U.S. cars equipped with the cheatware.

This information appeared in a story by Reuters.