Details about incorrect numbers, falsified results and a Chinese gang emerge

More details are starting emerge about Audi and its use of fake and duplicate VINs (vehicle identification numbers) in South Korea. In a surprise to no-one, it's Dieselgate-related.

In August 2017 it was revealed Audi used duplicate VINs on thousands of cars exported to China, South Korea, and Japan – quite why it had done so wasn't clear, though.

Now, the Suddeutsche Zeitung claims it was probably part of an effort to sell non-compliant models in South Korea.

According to the German newspaper, an internal Audi report confiscated by German Dieselgate investigators reveals the automaker had “purposefully manipulated” emissions and fuel economy data for vehicles shipped to South Korea since 2013.

The company reportedly used duplicated or incorrect VINs to make it harder to uncover its wrongdoing. An internal audit detailing this scheme was reportedly sent to then-CEO Rupert Stadler.

To make matters worse, Audi didn't voluntarily hand over documents relating to its misdeeds in Asia. It's said the company also tried to implicate a "Chinese gang" in its emissions cheating ruse.

Three Audi employees are currently said to be under investigation over the matter, although none are believed to be board members.

Earlier this month Rupert Stadler, head of Audi from 2010 to 2018, was officially removed from his role of CEO. He was suspended from his position when he was arrested in June by prosecutors.