Audi, Seat, Skoda admit they've been fiddling car pollution tests as well

All Volkswagen brands now under the spotlight

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The fallout from Volkswagen's use of software to cheat on emissions tests is spreading: Audi and Skoda (both of which are owned by VW) admit that some of their cars carry the dodgy code.

In all, Audi says 2.1 million of its vehicles are using the dodgy system – the vast majority of those are in Europe. The car maker told El Reg that 11,670 A3 TDI Sportback models sold in the US between 2010 and 2013 have the pollution cheatware installed, along with 2,552 of this year's model.

Skoda, the low-end Czech car manufacturer, has also confirmed that 1.2 million of its cars use the emissions control, but hasn't named the models as yet. Seat has also said some of its cars are affected. Audi, Skoda and Seat's totals are included in the 11 million car figure Volkswagen admitted to last week.

In addition, we're told several senior staff from the research and development teams at Audi, Porsche, and other VW brands have been suspended as part of the ongoing investigation into the scandal.

The cars were fitted with software that deliberately reduced engine emissions when it detected it was being tested in a lab condition; once the test was over, the engine would ramp up to normal, outputting up to 40 times the standard limit of harmful nitrogen oxides.

Given the complexity of the engine management technology used to cheat in the air-pollutions tests, it's impossible that the defeat devices could have been the result of one bad apple in the firm. Multiple people would have had to have been involved at many stages of the design process to make the system work, and sign off on it for production.

Attention is now going to be paid to other cars under the Volkswagen Group's umbrella. The car behemoth owns Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, SEAT, Skoda, and Volkswagen, and all can expect further examination of their compliance with emissions controls.

Volkswagen stock is taking another beating on the news, dropping 8 per cent at the time of publication, and bringing it to its lowest point in five years. ®


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