VW Admits That Audi Transmission Software Can Skew Emissions Tests

The Volkswagen Group has reportedly admitted that certain Audi vehicles have automatic transmissions that are capable of skewing emissions tests.

This came to light in November when German newspaper Bild am Sonntag reported that the California Air Resources Board (CARB) had found out about the cheating transmissions, a totally separate piece of software than what was used in the cheat devices found in many Volkswagen diesel engines.

“Adaptive shift programs can lead to incorrect and non-reproducible results,” Volkswagen told Germany’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung after an article was published on the original report.

The software used in the transmissions, which are in both gas and diesel models, is able to detect testing conditions and change its shift patterns in a way that lowers CO2 and NOx emissions, according to Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

“Audi has explained the technical backgrounds of adaptive shift programs to the Federal Motor Vehicle Authority KBA and has made available technical information,” said Volkswagen. The brand claims that this type of adaptive shift transmission is used to help adjust the shift points to suit each driver’s needs.

Bild has also reported that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has opened a new investigation into Audi over these new allegations, but so far, both Volkswagen and the EPA declined to comment.