VW diesel engine

Still no clear horizon in sight for the Volkswagen Group with regards to the emissions scandal that has severely rocked it. Reuters, citing German newspaper Bild am Sonntag, reports that Audi’s head of technical development, Stefan Knirsch, has been suspended as part of an investigation into cheat software being used in the brand’s 3.0 litre diesel.

The German publication said investigations carried out by Jones Day have shown that Knirsch, an Audi board member, was aware of the usage of cheat software in the company’s 3.0 litre diesel engines and had given a false promise under oath. The report added that Knirsch has already been asked to clear his desk.

Knirsch, who was formerly head of engine development at Audi, succeeded Ulrich Hackenberg on January 1. Hackenberg quit after he and two other executives, who were closely associated with the development of the EA 189 engine, were suspended. Spokesmen for Volkswagen Group and Audi declined to comment on the matter.

Last month, Bild am Sonntag had reported that more emissions defeat devices had been found in the 3.0 litre diesel engine. The additional, unapproved software allows the turbodiesel to shut down emissions control systems after approximately 22 minutes in operation. Official emissions measurements last about 20 minutes.

The 3.0 litre turbodiesel V6 engine as affected by the defeat devices is used in models such as the Volkswagen Touareg, Porsche Cayenne, Audi A6 quattro, A7 quattro, A8 and Q5.