Audi Came Up with the "Defeat Device" Way Back in 1999

If somebody else has a good idea, buy their company and take it. That's how today's tech giants function. However, it's also the way in which Volkswagen treats Audi. It seems the luxury brand with four rings came up with the idea of creating a "defeat device" to artificially lower emissions way back in 1999.
VW's 'defeat device' software developed at Audi in 1999, report says 1 photo
Photo: Tudor Vieru
However, Audi never used it. It was only when Volkswagen found it couldn't lower its nitrogen oxide levels enough that it began installing the software on TDI engines.This was happening in 2005, six years later.

The Audi "defeat device" concept was the same as we know it today. It could turn certain engine functions on or off, depending on whether the car was being driven or tested. That's the word from German newspaper Handelsblatt, as reported by Automotive News.

Earlier this month, the German Federal Motor Transport Authority KBA announced that it had tested 50 cars from 23 manufacturers and found nobody else used a "defeat device." That just goes to show you Audi is a cunning company, and the "Vorsprung durch Technik" isn't just for show.

Of course, knowing where the idea comes from doesn't mean fixing the TDI engines will be easy. The word is that fuel consumption increased dramatically after the first recalled cars had been set straight, so Volkswagen has yet to find a solution.

We are currently in a crucial week for Volkswagen, as the German company is facing a deadline from US regulators to present a credible solution for the TDI engines. On April 22 (Friday), shareholders will also approve earnings for the disastrous year of 2015.

Just to give you an idea of what's at stake, their stock has gone from a high of over 250 euros and is currently trading just over 100. The largest carmaker in Europe has a market value roughly twice that of Tesla, which may affect borrowing. If that doesn't prove cheating doesn't pay, nothing does.
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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