No, the Volkswagen Auto Group’s emission cheating scandal isn’t done unfolding. VW has confirmed earlier reports (including one from Suddeutsche Zeitung) that Audi software can distort emissions during tests. Cars with automatic transmissions can change their shift patterns in a way that lowers carbon dioxide and nitric oxide emissions, making it appear as if the vehicles are more eco-friendly than they are during typical driving. The transmission normally adapts based solely on the driving conditions, VW says.
The admission was likely given that VW is already under intense scrutiny, and there are hints that things are only going to get worse. Bild claims that the US’ Environmental Protection Agency has already started an investigation into Audi over the software, and will talk to VW engineers about its concerns as soon as next week. VW has declined to comment on whether or not that’s happening, but it makes sense in light of the EPA’s interest in finding as many cheating mechanisms as possible. And if an additional EPA investigation wasn’t on the cards before, it’s likely to be after this public revelation.