Audi and Skoda, both subsidiaries under the Volkswagen Group, have come forward admitting to have sold some 3.3 million cars installed with the ‘defeat device’ software which allows each car to cheat on emissions tests.
According to a report by Auto Express UK, Audi’s representative said about 1.42 million cars with V-compliant engines are affected in Western Europe, with more than 30 percent (577,000 units to be precise) of them sold in Germany alone. Affected Audi models ranging from the A1, A3, A4, A5, A6, TT, Q3 and Q5 are all confirmed to be fitted with the prohibited software, but Audi claims newer models with EU6 engines aren’t affected by the software.
The engine in question here is Volkswagen’s type EA189 oil burner used in over 11 million cars including SEAT, Skoda, Audi and Volkswagen models. All four brands have admitted to using the 1.6-litre or 2.0-litre TDI engine with the nefarious software, allowing them to fly under the radar when put through emissions test. In real world driving, it was found that the cars produced over 40 times the pollution count.
The illegal software cost former VAG CEO, Martin Winterkorn his job who is now replaced by ex-Porsche CEO, Matthias Müller. But Winterkorn wasn’t the only one to lose his job. Both top spots in SEAT and Skoda have also been vacated, with Luca de Meo (from Audi) succeeding Jurgen Stackmann of SEAT. Skoda’s ex-chairman Dr Winfried Vahland’s successor hasn’t been named yet, but Vahland will be helming VAG’s North American operations.