Audi says 2.1 million cars affected by VW emissions scandal

Audi says 2.1 million cars affected by VW emissions scandal

Audi has said that 2.1 million of its vehicles worldwide are affected by the Volkswagen emissions scandal, with 1.42 million of those cars residing in Western Europe.

The informaton, reported by Reuters, reveals that the A1, A3, A4, A5, A6, TT, Q3 and Q5 model lines are affected by the scandal. Over 500,000 of the affected cars are in Germany, with a further 13,000 in the US.

These latest details come just days after German transport minister Alexander Dobrindt confirmed that Volkswagen’s emissions data manipulation software was present on cars sold in Europe.

The news followed VW’s admission last week that up to 11 million vehicles around the world – and five million from VW alone – could be involved in the emissions rigging scandal, which is currently focused on cars fitted with the EA189 diesel engine.

To date, it has been confirmed that VW, Skoda and Audi cars were sold with the engine and cheat software fitted. Bentley, Lamborghini and Porsche have all confirmed they are not affected.

Dobrindt told Sky News: “We have been informed that also in Europe, vehicles with 1.6 and 2.0 litre diesel engines are affected by the manipulations that are being talked about.”

VW has already confirmed that all of its cars sold with EU6 compliant engines have been legally certified.

There have been calls for governmental probes in to VW’s actions from around the world since the firm admitted cheating in the US emissions tests, including in Canada, Germany, Italy, South Korea, UK and the USA. The UK government has already announced it will launch an inquiry into the scandal.

VW has put aside a fund of €6.5bn (approximately £4.7bn) to cover the costs of dealing with the issue, and says it will adjust its financial targets for 2015 as a result. The matter came to light when the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) revealed that while testing 2.0-litre, four-cylinder diesel cars of the Volkswagen Group they detected electronic manipulations that violate American environmental standards.

The price of shares in the Volkswagen Group on the Frankfurt stock exchange fell sharply following the EPA’s announcement of its findings, and about 30 billion euros has been wiped off the value of the company. The share price dropped again on Wednesday morning as it emerged that other countries and regions are likely to check whether Volkswagen models conform to their own tests – although there were some signs of the stock value stabilising.

Volkswagen and Audi cars in the USA are fitted with a ‘defeat device’ that allows the vehicle to perform more efficiently in the official emissions test than in real-world driving conditions. The device is embedded in the software code that runs the ECU. It detects when the car is being tested and turns on full emissions controls, but the effectiveness of the device is reduced in normal conditions.

Reports have since surfaced that Volkswagen was warned about the legality of its software as far back as 2007.

According to the EPA, this means that the cars under investigation could be emitting up to 40 times the national standard for nitrogen oxide (NOx), which is linked to asthma and lung illnesses. The cars affected are 2009-2014 Jettas, Beetles, Golfs, Audi A3s, and VW Passats built from 2014-15.

The EPA says that the cars in question do not prove a safety hazard and are still legally okay to drive and sell on.

The issue will be investigated by the US Congress’s Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee.

“Strong emissions standards are in place for the benefit of public health,” said House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy in a joint statement.

“Manufacturers throughout the United States, and across the world, have developed leading technologies to reduce airborne emissions within the limits set by EPA and state environmental agencies. However, reported EPA allegations that certain Volkswagen models contained software to defeat auto emissions tests raise serious questions,” they said.

“We will follow the facts. We are also concerned that auto consumers may have been deceived – that what they were purchasing did not come as advertised. The American people deserve answers and assurances that this will not happen again. We intend to get those answers.”

A date for the US Congress hearing has yet to be set.

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