The software in question, which affects more than 11 million Volkswagen Group vehicles worldwide and has seen an announcement from Audi's parent company Volkswagen Group that it will recall 11 million vehicles globally, is able to detect when it’s undergoing an emission test and modify its emission output in a lab environment to pass the strict emission tests both in North America and Europe. With Australian-delivered vehicles are not required to pass similar tests, the software most likely lays dormant.
Speaking to the Australian motoring media in Launceston, Tasmania at the launch of the Audi RS3 today, Audi Australia general manager of corporate communications, Anna Burgdorf, confirmed that the emission-cheating software affects EA189 diesel equipped models A1, A3, A4, A5, A6, TT, Q3 and Q5 models, but stopped short of confirming the issue affected Australian-delivered models.
Burgdorf suggested that a full statement will be available in the next few days.
“We don’t yet know the full effect of the software on Australian delivered vehicles. However, it is our understanding that the software is inactive in all Australian built Audi vehicles with an EA189 engine,” Burgdorf said.
Audi Australia has increased its customer service team to deal with any increase of customer enquiries regarding the matter.
“Our customers are our highest priority at this time and we will be contacting them directly once we have an accurate list of potentially affected vehicles along with an understanding of the full software affect and at that time we will confirm our next steps to remove the software from those vehicles,” she said.
Burgdorf confirmed that Audi would not make an additional comment until its investigation and findings have been presented to the Australian government.