Volkswagen’s Audi division may also have used its own carbon-dioxide emissions cheating software, regulators in California announced this week. According to The Wall Street Journal and the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) found that Volkswagen had developed emissions software that obscured emissions data if the steering wheel was not turned beyond 15 degrees.
Bild am Sonntag cited CARB, but the California organization has not commented on the discovery because the United States and California are in conversation with Audi about the emissions-control software previously found on 3.0 liter V6 diesel engines.
According to the report, the software kicks in once the steering wheel is turned 15 degrees. This means that it will turn off under almost any real-world driving circumstance but will hide emissions in laboratory tests.
Audi stopped using it in May 2016 shortly before the discovery of the emissions manipulation, the report from Bild am Sonntag said. They also reported that several engineers who were involved with the program were suspended, also before the CARB investigation.
The paper did not say which models were affected, but did indicate that this was a different kind of software from what was used on the more than 11 million diesel vehicles exposed as part of Volkswagen’s defeat device case.
The “defeat device” software found in diesel cars in 2015 kicked off a global investigation into Volkswagen, which has paid $14.7 billion in settlements to individuals or state governments so far.