According to a media report, the Volkswagen Group has apparently manipulated the automatic transmissions of its vehicles on a larger scale in order to keep the exhaust gases and fuel consumption on the test bench artificially low. This reports the Handelsblatt , citing statements of defendants in the diesel scandal against the prosecutors Braunschweig and Munich, as well as on internal documents of the company. Among the statements, according to the report, is that of a leading VW engineer.

After that contained in the US and Europe gasoline, but also diesel vehicles with dual-clutch transmission a function that controlled the switching behavior on the test bench so that less CO2 and nitrogen oxides were ejected than on the road. In addition, the vehicles on the test bench are said to have consumed less fuel.

According to Handelsblatt are affected numerous models of the Group, including Tiguan, Passat and Touareg, but also Audi models. VW, however, said that the diesel vehicles were only the Audi A7 and A8. It was also only a technical "non-conformity" gone. For both models, however, the Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt had a mandatory recall in 2017.

In the gasoline models, the Federal Ministry of Transport confirmed CO2 deviations, the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) but had "no abnormalities in the use of improper strategies" found. VW paid a total of $ 100 million to vehicle owners in August for such switching tricks on US gasoline models. However, the rating and regulatory issues are not comparable with those in Europe and Germany, according to the Group.

Process start against Volkswagen

Four years after the discovery of the diesel scandal, the model declaration action in Braunschweig against Volkswagen begins. The consumer centers and the ADAC have sued on behalf of several hundred thousand diesel drivers. The court should decide whether Volkswagen has harmed consumers with the exhaust gas manipulation intentionally and immoral. On this basis, the approximately 470,000 diesel drivers who joined could then claim damages. It is possible that the lawsuit goes to the Federal Court of Justice and therefore will be finalized only in several years.

Consumer advocates had previously asked Volkswagen to face its responsibility in the model approval process for the diesel scandal. "If this does not happen, the company would have lost the last chance to regain the confidence of consumers," said the board of the Consumer Federation, Klaus Müller. The damaged diesel drivers had proven to be long-lasting. "Together, we will show Volkswagen that sitting out and denying do not pay off," said Müller.

In September 2015, the manufacturer had admitted to manipulation of the emissions of diesel cars after tests by authorities and researchers in the US. The software of certain engines was set so that in actual operation on the road significantly more toxic nitrogen oxides (NOx) were emitted than in tests.