Audi, VW in trouble for false advertising clean diesels

It seems as if Volkswagen Group’s diesel scandal just won’t go away, with some new evidence or facts coming out every few months or so. Well, according to the FTC (Federal Trade Commission), VW and Audi are in a bit of trouble for false advertising its TDI engines as “clean diesels” when the obviously weren’t.

The FTC has filed a federal complaint that the automakers had falsely advertised their TDI engines as being clean, but we all know that defeat devices were installed on over 500,000 vehicles in America. These defeat devices helped these TDI-equipped vehicles evade emissions testing, thus making them quite “unclean”. However, it gets complicated because there are certain agencies that handle the advertisements for VW and Audi and they most likely were unaware of the defeat devices on the diesel cars.

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2015 Audi A3 TDI Sedan
2015 Audi A3 TDI Sedan

According to Linda Goldstein, Ad Lawyer at Manatt, Phelps and Phillips, claims that for agencies to be named liable in complaints such as this, there would have to be evidence that they knew about the evasions “and it seems given what’s happened here that that is unlikely to be the case,”. However, it does get a bit tricky for both the FTC and VW. “This does not appear to be a difficult case for the FTC,” she said. The question is “would the [ad] claims have been true even if the [emissions] testing had been done properly,” she said. “It appears that is not the case.”

We don’t know exactly how this will turn out, but it’s likely not going to be good. It’s troublesome that  this diesel scandal just won’t go away for Volkswagen and Audi. We didn’t realize just how far reaching the consequences for such a thing could be. And it’s especially tough on Audi, because the brand is just starting to get people to forget about the diesel scandal with its new e-tron and h-tron products and concepts. Audi is genuinely becoming a leader in the EV world but its reputation is being undone by this scandal over and over again.

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Hopefully, this can be settled quickly and Audi can get back to developing new alternative fuel technologies that can revers the negative image being painted on it.

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.