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Autos

US regulator finds another cheat device in Audi car

A year on since the parent party Volkswagen was hit with near bankruptcy, German media has reported the discovery of a second illegal software function in automatic transmission Audis.

German newspaper "Bild am Sonntag" reported on Sunday that the Californian Air Resources Board (CARB) had discovered another illegal software function in an automatc transmission in Audi last summer.

The paper said the device, which was not the same as the one which triggered last year's diesel emissions scandal at Audi's parent company, Volkswagen, was also used in gasoline and diesel-powered cars in Europe.

The illegal software deactivated pollution controls on more than 11 million diesel vehicles sold worldwide, triggering the deepest business crisis in the German carmaker's history.

Investigators found that the cars emitted more than 40 times the legal limit of nitrogen oxide, which can cause respiratory problems.

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Unauthorized

VW said earlier this week, however, that the use of the software  “did not constitute an unauthorized shutdown device under European law.” 

According to "Bild am Sonntag" the most recently discovered software was installed on many Audi models with a certain automatic transmission. If the steering wheel does not turn, this indicates laboratory testing conditions, and a gear shifting program which produces less carbon dioxide is activated.

If the driver turns the steering wheel by more than 15 degrees, however, the "warm-up strategy" deactivates, "Bild am Sonntag"said.

Audi reportedly stopped using the software in May 2016, just before CARB discovered the manipulation in an older model, the paper said, adding that the carmaker had suspended several engineers in connection with the matter.

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ksb/jm (Reuters, AFP)

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