The latest Euro 6 diesel generation Audi A3 was recorded as emitting 163 milligrams of nitrogen oxides (NOx) per kilometer by the European Commission’s Joint Research Center back in August, more than twice the legal limit.
In addition, a separate lab-based testing process found the new A3 emitting under 80 milligrams of NOx per kilometer when the car was run with a cold engine, but 140 milligrams per kilometer when run with an engine temperature of 10° Celsius.
A lawmaker on the European Parliament’s inquiry committee into the VW scandal by the name of Bas Eikhout commented: “The differences between cold start and hot start are hard to explain.”
Hard to explain is one way of putting. The other way is that fraud is taking place.
Unsurprisingly, the company is denying responsibility.
Reuters provides more: “Audi dismissed the results, saying the level of 163 milligrams was inflated by erroneous measurements on behalf of the JRC (Joint Research Center). Key parameters such as the state of the catalytic converter systems of the tested vehicles remain unclear, a spokesman said by email. Other tests in Britain and Germany have shown the A3 compact, which topped the brand’s sales rankings this year ahead of the A4 and A6 models, is complying with legal limits, he said.”
As a reminder, the JRC merely advises European Union lawmakers, and does not actually police the continent’s car industries. Individual member states are responsible for that.
Notably, a spokesperson for the commission has stated that the findings are still preliminary: “If the test results raise some suspicion of wrongdoing, such as the installation of prohibited defeat devices, they will be shared with all relevant approval authorities.”
Reuters provides some further background: “Germany’s KBA motor vehicle authority declined to comment… Amid frustration in Brussel over inaction by governments over the dieselgate scandal, the EU began legal action this month against 7 countries, including Germany, for not fining VW over its use of illegal software… In Europe, however, VW has not admitted to using illegal software. Carmarkers in the bloc say that an exemption in EU law allows them to turn off emissions-control systems if that is needed to protect engines.”
The news also follows on claims that Audi utilizes cheating software in some petrol/gas models as well, as a way of reducing carbon dioxide emissions during testing processes.
This is all particularly notable since Audi is the most profitable part of the overarching VW Group.
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