UPDATED: Audi A6 stops production to investigate potential AdBlue tampering

It seems as if Audi simply cannot escape controversy surrounding diesel emissions. First, it was the massive diesel scandal which saw diesel-equipped Audis, along with Volkswagens and even some Porsches, being fitted with so-called “defeat devices”, which would change the car’s emissions while being tested and when on the road. This meant that they passed emissions while being tested but switched to a less clean emissions setting when out on the road, so as to provide better power and fuel efficiency. Since then, Audi has corrected any of the violating diesel engines and paid the price for it. Now, though, there seems to be another issue with diesel engines, this time with the new Audi A6 and potential tampering with AdBlue.

For those who don’t already know, AdBlue is an additive that is used to clean the exhaust emissions on diesel engines. All modern diesel engines have some form AdBlue system and the additive needs to be refilled about every time the car’s oil is changed. So regular services are a bit more expensive in diesel engined cars than petrol ones. Which is important here, as that is where this tampering comes into play.

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According to the German Transport Authority, the KBA, certain Audi A6 and even Audi A7 models may have been fitted with a software device that intentionally slows down the injection of AdBlue toward the last 2,400 km  of its life cycle. That way, customers wouldn’t have to ever replace it between regular service intervals, making it easier and more cost effective on them. By reducing the AdBlue amount, though, the engine emissions possibly become dirtier, depending on the amount that has been reduced.

“The KBA has requested a hearing on suspicion the Audi V6 TDI A6/A7 models have been fitted with an illegal defeat device,” said a spokesman for the KBA.

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There could be 30,000 affected Audi A6 and A7 models in Germany alone and 60,000 cars worldwide. That’s no small number and could be a very serious issue. Although, it’s been said that it’s unlikely Audi will issue an official recall. The KBA will look into the potential issue and see if Audi violated an laws and Audi is supposed to be releasing an official statement later today. We’ll update you as we get more information.

UPDATE: According to new reports, Audi is the one who found the software in its diesel engined A6 and A7 models and reported it to the KBA. “”We report any irregularities to the authorities because full clarification is our top priority,” Audi CEO Rupert Stadler said in a recent statement. “We did so without delay also in this case.” Some 60,000 models were effected in Germany only and they’re all from the outgoing generation, so not the new A6 and A7. If the KBA gives their ‘okay’ on Audi’s new software fix, recalls will begin on all vehicles.

Nico DeMattia

I've been in love with cars since I was a kid, specifically German cars. Now I get to drive them talk about them on the internet.