Audi To Be Investigated In Germany For Possible Diesel Emissions Scandal

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Audi To Be Investigated In Germany For Possible Diesel Emissions Scandal

Posted on : Saturday 3rd of June 2017

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Luxury carmaker Audi on Friday found itself being pulled deeper into a global emissions cheating scandal that has engulfed its parent company Volkswagen after German prosecutors said they were investigating whether some of Audi's top-end models might have been tampered with in Germany. Prosecutors have already been investigating possible diesel emissions cheating by Audi in the United States.

But they announced Friday that they were extending their probe to the carmaker's home country, a day after Audi announced a Europe-wide recall of its A7 and A8 models. "We have broadened our probe into sales of Audi vehicles... to 24,000 vehicles sold in Germany and Europe with illegal defeat devices," a spokesman for prosecutors in Munich, southern Germany, told AFP.

On Thursday, Audi said it was recalling 24,000 A7 and A8 diesel vehicles, including 14,000 in Germany after it had identified "anomalies" in the levels of their nitrogen oxide emissions.

Nitrogen oxides (NOx) are harmful gases which contribute to smog and soot.

Following a review, Audi said that the levels emitted by the German models affected "exceed the allowed level by between 20 and 100 percent in certain situations". It pointed the finger at software in the cars' transmission systems.

The emissions cheating scandal, known as "Dieselgate", erupted in September 2015 when Volkswagen was forced to admit that it had installed so-called "defeat devices" -- sophisticated software designed to fool regulatory emissions tests -- into the engines of 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide.

So far, there has been no evidence linking current or former Audi executives to the cheating, the prosecutors' spokesman said.

Audi was unavailable for comment when contacted by AFP on Friday. A day earlier, German Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt accused Audi of installing a device designed to make the cars emit less under test conditions than in real-world driving. "Audi is required to present suggestions for solutions to the problem by June 12," a transport ministry spokesman said on Friday. "We will look at it and then the process will continue."

Volkswagen faces a battery of legal cases and investigations over "Dieselgate" and has embarked on an unprecedented recall of vehicles to refit the engines with the correct software. Some 8.5 million of the affected cars are owned by European buyers, including 2.5 million in Germany.

A Volkswagen spokesman told AFP the latest recall only affects Audi, and that the engine used in the cars was of a different design to those fitted in VW, Audi, Skoda, and VW vans already subject to recalls.

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