Audi cars with automatic transmissions were capable of distorting emissions when they were tested, Volkswagen said, as its luxury flagship fights allegations of a reported discovery of a new cheat software device, Reuters reported.
Germany's Bild am Sonntag newspaper reported a week ago that the California Air Resources Board (CARB) had this summer found cheat software in an older Audi model, which was not related to the device that sparked last year's diesel emissions test-cheating scandal at parent VW.
According to Bild, CARB's discovery lowered carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by detecting whether a car's steering wheel was turned as under road driving conditions and was used in diesel and petrol models in Europe for years.
"Adaptive shift programs can lead to incorrect and non-reproducible results" when the cars are tested, VW said by email on Sunday in response to an article published in Germany's Sueddeutsche Zeitung on Saturday.
"Audi has explained the technical backgrounds of adaptive shift programs to the Federal Motor Vehicle Authority KBA and has made available technical information," VW said, adding there would be more interaction with the KBA, which had been commissioned by the German government to investigate the reported irregularities at Audi.
According to the Bild report, Audi's device used in ''several hundred thousand'' diesel and gasoline-powered cars sold by Audi throughout the world, keyed on the movement of the steering wheel to detect that the car was in the lab. Audi engines were equipped with the device until as late as May 2016, eight months after Volkswagen's dieselgate scandal surfaced in September 2015.