Class action lawsuits filed against Audi over alleged 3.0 liter automatic gasoline engine emission cheating

by Charles Miller

Audi is accused of installing a defeat device on its 3.0 liter gasoline-powered vehicles that altered the vehicles’ CO2 emission levels during inspection. The new allegations against Audi are separate from last year’s Dieselgate scandal, which involved emissions cheating on millions of VW and Audi diesel models.

According to reports by German newspapers, the California Air Resources Board discovered the emissions cheating software on some Audi gasoline models during  the summer 2016. These software defeat devices were designed to lower the CO2 emissions levels on Audi vehicles when the cars underwent emissions testing. The vehicles were able to sense when they were in the emissions testing bay and signal the vehicles’ engines to emit significantly lower levels of CO2. Under normal driving conditions, the cars’ CO2 emissions levels were much higher than when the defeat device was engaged.

The defeat device that was discovered by the CARB was found on certain model years for the Audi A6, A8, Q5, and Q7. All of the vehicles that were equipped with the emissions cheating software were gasoline-powered vehicles equipped with a 3.0 liter engine and an automatic transmission.

At least two class action lawsuits against Audi have already been filed on behalf of drivers who owned or leased one of the vehicles equipped with the defeat device. The lawsuits allege that drivers of Audi A6, A8, Q5, and Q7 models overpaid for their vehicles because of false claims made by Audi about the performance, fuel efficiency, and emissions levels of the these models.

Volkswagen (Audi’s parent company) has denied allegations that the software detected on the 3.0 liter Audi gasoline models is an illegal defeat device. The company claimed in an email to Reuters that the software is an “adaptive shift program” designed to improve performance and increase fuel efficiency by decreasing the need to shift gears while driving. Volkswagen says that it has made technical information about these “adaptive shift programs” available to Germany’s Federal Motor Vehicle Authority KBA, which is investigating the new allegations of emissions cheating against Audi.

Audi Faces Increased Scrutiny in the Wake of the VW Dieselgate Scandal

The allegations of emissions cheating against Audi come at a time when the company is undergoing increased scrutiny in the wake of the Volkswagen Dieselgate emissions cheating scandal. In September 2015, Volkswagen admitted that it had installed a defeat device on millions of VW, Audi, and Porsche diesel-powered vehicles. About 2.1 million Audi diesel models were equipped with the defeat device, the automaker confirmed.

The Dieselgate emissions cheating software caused the vehicles to emit lower greenhouse gas levels during emissions testing, making the cars appear far more fuel efficient than they actually were. In June 2016, Volkswagen agreed to pay a $15 billion settlement to resolve allegations of emissions cheating involving its 2.0 liter “TDI Clean Diesel” models. Claims involving about 85,000 Audi, Porsche, and VW diesel models with a 3.0 liter engine are still pending resolution.

German newspapers have reported that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has opened an investigation into the new allegations of emissions cheating against Audi. The EPA has reportedly scheduled a meeting with officials from Audi and Volkswagen to obtain more information about the emissions software that was detected by the CARB on Audi’s 3.0 liter gasoline-powered models.

Audi Owners May Qualify to File a Lawsuit

Drivers who purchased or leased an Audi A6, A8, Q5, or Q7 vehicle with a 3.0 liter gasoline engine and an automatic transmission may be eligible to file a lawsuit over the allegations of emissions cheating involving these vehicles. The first step in taking legal action is to speak with a law firm whose attorneys have the experience in lawsuits involving defective automobiles and other product liability cases to advise you regarding your legal rights and guide you through the process of filing a case.

For more information about the latest emissions cheating allegations against Audi and to find out whether you may qualify to file a case, contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson for a free legal consultation. You can reach us by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or by following the link to our free case evaluation form and answering a few brief questions to get started.


Case results depend upon a variety of factors unique to each case. Results of other cases do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any future case.

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by Charles Miller

Charles Miller is a licensed attorney and a partner at Heygood, Orr & Pearson. Charles focuses his practice on areas of complex commercial litigation and personal injury litigation.