Audi CO2 Scandal

Audi is facing several class action lawsuits over allegations of emissions cheating on its gasoline-powered models. Audi  is accused of installing a “defeat device” on its A6, A7, A8, Q5, Q7, S4, S5, S6, S7, and S8 models with a gasoline engine and an automatic transmission. This device was intended to conceal the vehicles’ high CO2 emissions levels from consumers and regulators.

The vehicles involved in the emissions cheating allegations against Audi include the following models and years:

  • Audi A6, 2012-2016
  • Audi A7, 2012-2016
  • Audi A8, 2012-2016
  • Audi Q5, 2012-2016
  • Audi Q7, 2012-2017
  • Audi S4, 2012-2016
  • Audi S5, 2012-2016
  • Audi S6, 2012-2016
  • Audi S7, 2012-2016
  • Audi S8, 2012-2016





In 2016, investigators with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) discovered that Audi had installed the defeat device on thousands of gasoline powered models. The defeat device was a software program installed in the vehicles that could detect when the cars were undergoing emissions testing and switch the engine into “low rev” mode. This lowered the vehicle’s performance and reducing its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Under normal driving condition, the vehicles switched back into regular operation, increasing the performance as well as its CO2 emissions.

The vehicles equipped with the emissions cheating software include the 2012-2016 Audi A6, A7, A8, and Q7 models and 2012-2017 Q5 models with a gasoline engine and an AL 551 automatic transmission. The 2012-2016 Audi S4, S5, S6, S7, S8 gasoline models with a DL 501 automatic transmission were also equipped with the software. Further testing on Audi vehicles may reveal additional models that were also equipped with a CO2 defeat device.

Class Action Lawsuits Over Audi’s CO2 Emissions Cheating

After Audi’s emissions cheating was discovered by the CARB, several class action lawsuits were filed against the automaker on behalf of consumers who purchased or leased one of the affected models. These lawsuits have alleged that drivers who purchased or leased one of the affected models have suffered increased fuel costs and other expenses as a result of Audi’s emissions cheating. The lawsuits also allege that vehicle owners may see significant reductions to the resale value of their vehicles.

According to lawsuits against Audi, the automaker continued to installed emissions cheating software on the affected vehicles until May 2016 – eight months after news about the Volkswagen’s emissions cheating on VW and Audi models as part of the Dieselgate scandal was made public. Volkswagen is the parent company of Audi.

In 2016, Volkswagen agreed to pay $14.7 billion to settle lawsuits filed by VW and Audi owners over the company’s diesel emissions cheating. Volkswagen admitted that it had altered the nitrogen oxide (NO2) emissions of more than 11 million vehicles worldwide – including thousands of Audi models made from 2009-2015, or roughly the same period as the current allegations against Audi. Lawsuits over emissions cheating have also been filed against General Motors and Chrysler.

Volkswagen officials have admitted that the Audi gasoline models involved in the emissions cheating litigation can produce “incorrect results” during testing. According to documents uncovered by the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag, Audi’s chief of powertrains, Axel Eiser, stated that the emissions software installed on Audi’s gasoline models – characterized by Audi as “adaptive shift programmes” – needed to be designed to be “100% active” during emissions testing “only 0.01% [active] in the hands of the customer.”

Audi Owners May Qualify to File a Lawsuit

If you purchased or leased an Audi A6, A7, A8, Q5, Q7, S4, S5, S6, S7, or S8 model with a gasoline engine and an automatic transmission, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit over Audi’s CO2 emissions cheating. The first step in taking legal action is to speak with an attorney who can help you determine whether you qualify and guide you through the first steps in filing a case.

The lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson have represented hundreds of VW and Audi owners in the litigation against Volkswagen in connection with the Dieselgate scandal. One of our partners, Michael Heygood, was named to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee that has helped to oversee the Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) against Volkswagen in California on behalf of VW and Audi diesel owners nationwide.

Heygood, Orr & Pearson has filed hundreds of lawsuits involving product liability, commercial litigation, class actions cases, and MDLs. When corporations such as Audi and Volkswagen mislead their customers, we believe that they should be held accountable for their actions in a court of law. The attorneys at Heygood, Orr & Pearson have taken on some of the biggest companies in the world on behalf of our clients to ensure that they receive what they are entitled to under the law.

For more information about the Audi CO2 scandal and to find out whether you may qualify to file a lawsuit, contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001. You can also reach us by following the link to our free case evaluation form and answering a few brief questions to get started.