Audi was caught cheating on its diesel emissions with defeat devices. Twice. It started with the widespread dieselgate story for 2.0L 4-cylinder engines and was followed with a lesser known cheat for vehicles with the ZF 8-speed transmission.
Back in 2008, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) implemented tougher emissions standards for cars. That forced automakers to come up with creative solutions to balance their emissions output with consumer demand for fuel economy and performance.
Diesel engines have great fuel efficiency and power, but they also run dirty. So to meet regulations most companies started adding a urea-based solution, known as AdBlue, to their vehicles. There's a bit science involved here but basically it helps the catalytic converter convert bad things (nitrous oxide) into good things (nitrogen and water).
In both Audi and VW 2.0L 4-cylinder diesel engines, they skipped the AdBlue and used an NOx trap instead. Those traps typically require the engine to use more fuel, but "clean diesels" didn't take an MPG hit.
2016 was the year of emissions cheating. VW's diesel emissions scandal resulted in so many headlines. So. Many. Headlines. It sure would have been nice to finish the year without having to mutter the words "defeat" or "device" between sips of eggnog.
But then a report by the German paper Bild am Sonntag scrooged up my holiday plans when they announced that CARB had discovered another defeat device on potentially hundreds of thousands of Audi vehicles. Swell.
The device used on these Audis is completely different than the one VW was caught using on its diesel engines. For starters, this one is part of the transmission – the ZF8 8-speed, automatic AL 551 transmission, to be exact. The device is also meant to skirt carbon dioxide emissions on both diesel and gas engines.
The device is simple. Painfully simple. When the Audi is started up the transmission engages a "low C02" program and then starts monitoring the steering wheel. If the steering wheel is never turned more than 15 degrees – like say in a testing lab – the program keeps humming along all clean and green. When the steering wheel is turned, however, the program shuts off and the car starts spewin' out carbon dioxide above the legal limit.
It's estimated the devices were installed in Audi cars until May 2016. For those keeping score at home, that's waaaaay after the other VW emissions scandal hit the news. What's German for cojones?
Volkswagen agreed to a multi-district settlement for selling polluting engines marketed as clean diesel, it did so knowing it’d have to pay billions of dollars to customers that owned or leased an affected vehicle when the news about the scandal broke.
ustice Department has found themselves a snitch. In exchange for immunity, a former employee involved with diesel engine development has named former manager Giovanni Pamio as a key part of the coverup.
Owners of the 2009-2012 Audi Q7 3.0L diesel will be eligible for buyback offers between $26,000 to $58,000, depending on model year and mileage. Owners will also be given the option to keep their vehicles – if VW can come up with an adequate fix – and still receive up to $15,380 in compensation for their troubles.
ight not be the best time to travel if you're a VW executive. While traveling in Florida, VW executive Oliver Schmidt was arrested and charged for his alleged role in the diesel emissions scandal. From CarComplaints.com:
wagen has received the stamp of approval for a fix of about 475,000 2-liter "clean diesel" vehicles. These are the so-called "generation 3" diesels and are all from the 2015 model year. The list includes the 2015 Audi A3.
wagen Group still doesn't have an approved fix from the EPA and the company just agreed to send $175 million to lawyers representing diesel owners in the US. In other words, the company is in financial trouble and that means some belt tightening needs to happen.
PA and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) have rejected Volkswagen's plan to fix the 500,000 diesel vehicles that contain defeat devices. They also don't buy that VW didn't lie, like the CEO insists.
VW and Audi emissions recalls will be needed now that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has hit the company with a second notice of Clean Air violations. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, no seriously --- what the heck were you guys thinking?
href="http://www.carcomplaints.com/news/2015/volkswagen-lawsuit-defeat-device.shtml" title="California Lawsuit Filed Against VW over ‘Clean Diesels'">class-action lawsuit has been filed in California saying VW wouldn't have been able to sell a single vehicle in the US without their defeat devices. The suit claims Volkswagen and Audi have violated California's Unfair Competition Law and is particularly upset about the brash "clean diesel" campaign that fooled consumers.
This problem has been reported by owners of the following generations. While there's no guarantee it affects all the listed model years, most years within a generation share the same parts, manufacturing processes, and problems.