The defeat device is not directly linked to emissions, but rather to the use of the AdBlue cleaning fluid. According to authorities, the software fitted on the affected vehicles slows down the use of the fluid to prevent drivers from refilling it between regular service updates.
By preventing the AdBlue to do its job, diesel cars equipped with this software are much more polluting that officially stated.
As per The Local, Audi has stopped production of the newest A6 model until the situation clears, although it is unclear why. The new model has been presented during March’s 2018 Geneva Auto Show, but has not reached customers yet.
Audi said it didn’t know about this new software issue and has voluntarily contacted authorities. It also suspended deliveries of the models affected by the problem. Sources say the cars plagued with this software will be recalled by the carmaker.
An official statement from Audi is expected later on Tuesday.
Last week, Volkswagen’s former CEO Martin Winterkorn has been officially charged with conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government and customers, wire fraud, and conspiracy to violate the Clean Air Act by American authorities.
According to papers filed in March, Winterkorn allegedly found out about the so-called defeat device installed in the carmaker’s cars in 2014, following a study of West Virginia University’s Center for Alternative Fuels, Engines, and Emissions.
The former executive is accused of deciding to cover up his findings and encouraged his colleagues to do the same while “appearing to cooperate.”