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German Authorities Give Audi Final Ultimatum

Investigation / 5 Comments

There's more illegal diesel software out there.

Four years after the Dieselgate emissions cheating scandal was exposed, the Volkswagen Group has (mostly) cleaned up the mess it created. There remains an exception, however, and that would be Audi. In fact, it was at Audi where this software was originally formulated in an effort to make it seem as if its TDI diesel engines were more fuel-efficient than they actually were. Since the exposure, VW has paid billions of dollars in fines, bought back thousands of vehicles from angry owners, and has retrofitted affected diesel vehicles with non-cheating software. But not all Audis have had their illegal software removed.

According to Reuters, via the German-language Bild am Sonntag newspaper, Germany's motor vehicle authority, KBA, has informed the luxury brand it will soon face penalties for its failure to remove all illegal software.

via Audi AG
via Audi AG
via Audi AG

Audi has until September 26 to make this happen, otherwise, it'll face stiff penalties to the tune of 25,000 euro per car still equipped with a cheating device. Last year, KBA believed there were up to 127,000 Audis still equipped with defeat devices, 77,600 of which were in Germany. That equates to almost 2 billion Euros in fines for the cars in Germany alone. Clearly, German authorities are applying serious pressure to Audi to meet next week's deadline, but the question is whether the luxury automaker is capable of doing so.

An Audi spokesperson would only confirm to Reuters that it was getting closer to repairing the remaining vehicles in question and will, in fact, meet the deadline.

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via Audi AG
via Audi AG

The affected Audis include everything from the A4 to the A8, all powered with either V6 or V8 TDI diesel engines, and were part of an 850,000-vehicle voluntary recall in 2017. Changing all of that software takes time. However, it's been over two years since the recall and German transportation ministry authorities clearly want this settled once and for all, and increasing the financial stakes for Audi is a serious ultimatum.

via Audi AG
via Audi AG
via Audi AG

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