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Audi denies EPA diesel engine cheating accusations

Volkswagen Group brand Audi has said it's never used any cheating mechanism in its 3-liter diesel engines to thwart emission tests. It insisted accusations levied by US regulators were completely unfounded.

As one of Volkswagen's 12 brands, luxury carmaker Audi on Tuesday officially denied

accusations by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

it had used an illegal mechanism in 3-liter diesel engines with a view to falsify emission test results.

Audi spokesman Udo Rügheimer told the AFP news agency that the so-called auxiliary emission control devices (AECDs) under scrutiny by EPA regulators had never been used to rig emission output levels as claimed by the US agency.

Rügheimer added AECDs were engine control units reacting to different situations and adjusting engine performance accordingly. But, he insisted, the units were not able to detect whether cars where being tested in the lab.

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The spokesman for Audi said he had no details yet on why EPA officials claimed Monday there were obvious irregularities in the AECD mechanism. He said the company was willing to communicate to EPA how exactly those units functioned, what they did and what they did not do.

In another twist in the VW Group's widening pollution scandal, EPA had on Monday accused Audi, Porsche and the VW core brand of also installing a cheating mechanism in bigger-engine, 3-liter diesels, affecting among others the VW Touareg, the Porsche Cayenne and the Audi A6 through A8.

Porsche and VW

had also rejected EPA's accusations.

VW preferential shares had dropped by 3.5 percent by noon trading on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, with the stock under pressure for weeks now.

Earlier, the world's second largest carmaker by sales had already confessed to having installed cheating software in roughly 11 million smaller-engine diesel cars worldwide. The Wolfsburg-based company is bracing for huge litigation and compensation costs and has already announced a recall to be completed by the end of 2016.

hg/ng (dpa, AFP, Reuters)

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