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We thought we’ve seen the worst of Volkswagen’s ‘dieselgate’ emissions cheating scandal, but if the latest revelation from Bild am Sonntag is true, the carmaker group could be back in hot soup. According to the German news daily, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) in the United States found a defeat device in an Audi model fitted with an automatic transmission last summer.

The software, claimed to lower carbon dioxide emissions if the car detected it was being tested for emissions, is also said to have been fitted to both petrol and diesel vehicles in Europe, and is separate from the device that was the centre of the original scandal last year.

The report stated that the newly-found device monitored steering wheel movement to detect if it was being tested. If the wheel was not being turned – indicating that it was being tested in a laboratory – then a special gear-shifting programme would be activated to produce lower carbon dioxide emissions than in normal driving. The programme would be switched off if the wheel was turned more than 15 degrees.

Bild am Sonntag also said that Audi stopped using the software in May, just before CARB discovered it in an older model, adding that the company has already suspended several engineers as a result. The paper also stated that an Audi spokesman had declined to comment, saying that Ingolstadt is currently in talks with US and California regulators to fix 3.0 litre diesel models, which also feature a defeat device.

Automotive News said that CARB had no immediate comment regarding the Bild‘s report, and Audi was not immediately available to comment.

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