The German transport ministry has identified up to four different emissions-defeat devices in software code used by Audi’s EA897 V-6 diesel engine, according to separate reports published by Germany’s Bayerischen Rundfunk and Handelsblatt.
The various defeat devices reportedly were developed by Audi to provide models using its turbocharged 3.0L engine with lower emissions readings during government-mandated tests on rolling roads under controlled conditions than actual results on public roads.
The devices are said to have been used in vehicles produced up to the beginning of 2018, more than two years after U.S. authorities made public findings that Audi parent company Volkswagen had used similar illegal software functions in various diesel models.
The German transport ministry forced a recall of various Audi models fitted with the V-6 diesel in January 2019, confirming up to 200,000 vehicles in Germany were suspected of using an illegal software function the German automaker labeled as a Motoraufwärmfunktion, or engine warm-up function.
This so-called Motoraufwärmfunktion is, in fact, a secret defeat device used to manipulate emissions results, German transport ministry representatives say.
Models from Volkswagen and Porsche also were affected.
An addendum to the transport ministry report obtained by Bayerischen Rundfunk and Handelsblatt identifies three additional defeat devices that were not deemed illegal, despite the report’s suggestion they facilitated functions leading to emissions manipulation.
In the report, the various defeat devices are listed as A, B, C and D, according to both news outlets.
However, the transport ministry states only one can be identified as being illegal, suggesting Audi was free to voluntarily remove the other three functions from its software code as part of the recall announced earlier this year.
Both German outlets say it is apparent from the report that the transport ministry did not undertake testing leading to the discovery of the defeat devices, but instead relied upon information provided by Audi.