The number of employees suspended by either Volkswagen or its subsidiaries in the burgeoning Dieselgate scandal grew by two today as VW’s luxury subsidiary Audi suspended two engineers. Audi developed the three-liter, six-cylinder powerplant that has now become involved. The announcement was made by Rupert Stadler, Audi chief executive in a newspaper report today. This brings to eight the number of people suspended in the wake of the carmaker’s internal investigation of the emissions cheating scandal. Stadler made the comment in the newspaper Donaukurier.
Although it had been thought that Dieselgate was limited to versions of VW’s EA189 engine, Audi notified US officials a week ago that 85,000 luxury vehicles, equipped with its three-liter diesel powerplant, were fitted with emissions cheating equipment. According to a Reuters report this morning, Audi is probing various departments including technical development. The probe seeks to determine whether anyone deliberately manipulated the emissions-control equipment on Audi vehicles.
Audi designed and built the three-liter engine at Neckarsulm,Germany. The engine was used on the models sold by the VW subsidiary. The engine was also used on a model made by Porsche. The engine, which continues to be used in 2016 models, was first used in 2009.
With today’s disclosure Dieselgate continued to widen. So far, the scandal has led to the suspension of the pair of engineers and at least six other senior manager. It has also cost former VW chief Martin Winterkorn his positions with the automaker. In addition, the emissions scandal:
Has cost the automaker at least 20 billion euros in value
Has cost seven billion euros in charge-down costs to pay for costs this quarter
Is expected to cost the automaker 25 billion euros by the time the dust settles
Has forced the automaker to trim its investment spending by at least 1 billion euros
The automaker has admitted installing emissions cheating software on 11 million vehicles worldwide. And, the automaker has also admitted that 800,000 vehicles have bad carbon dioxide readings
In related news:
South Korea has become the first country outside the US to punish Volkswagen. The automaker was fined a record 14.1 billion won ($12.35 million) and told to recall 125,522 diesel vehicles.
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has given Audi a 45-day deadline to present a fix for the three-liter engine.