You may have heard about how Volkswagen and its subsidiaries used a “defeat device” to falsify emissions tests from so called “clean diesel” vehicles. Now it appears that Audi, a Volkswagen subsidiary, has used a different device to manipulate emissions and mileage test results for some of its larger non-diesel models such as the A6, A8 and Q5. On November 8, 2016, Minnillo & Jenkins, together with partner firms Goldenberg Schneider and Hagens Berman filed what is believed to be the first national class action against Audi based on this recent discovery.
According to recently published reports, the affected Audi vehicles, manufactured as late as May 2016, are equipped with special software that detects when the vehicle is being tested based on steering wheel movement. The reports indicate that the software controls the vehicles’ transmissions while they are being tested to keep the vehicle in a higher gear, thereby reducing engine RPM’s, reducing emissions and increasing efficiency during testing. Because the device only operates during testing, the test results do not reflect the vehicles’ actual emissions or efficiency during regular driving. As a result, according to the reports, the advertised emissions figures and efficiency ratings of the affected Audi vehicles are inaccurate.
Written content provided by Christian A. Jenkins