Audi says it has simple solution to counter ‘defeat device’

Audi, the embattled Volkswagen Group’s deluxe car division, has found simple technical solutions for luxury vehicles fitted with software that enabled diesel engines to cheat US emission limit checks, agencies quoted its chief executive as saying.

Matthias Mueller, VW chief executive, had said last month, without specifying the cost, that refits of 8.5 million smaller diesel-engined cars in Europe would be "technically and financially manageable".

On Tuesday, Audi CEO Rupert Stadler said fixes for about 85,000 premium models equipped with Audi’s 3.0 litre V6 diesel engine may prove equally simple. That figure includes vehicles from Porsche and VW powered by Audi engines.

"Swift, straightforward and customer-friendly solutions are in discussion," Stadler told a gathering of 7,000 workers at Audi's Ingolstadt headquarters. "Every day we are taking another step towards the solution."

Audi admitted last month that it failed to provide proper disclosure on the use of auxiliary emission-control devices (AECDs) in its engines, adding that one of its AECDs to adjust the working temperature of catalytic converters is deemed illegal by the US Environment Protection Agency.

Stadler will have to explain to VW's supervisory board how Audi, which accounts for 40 per cent of the group’s profit, will tackle the crisis at a time when delivery growth is slowing amid falling demand in China, its biggest market.