FRANKFURT -- Germany's chief motor vehicle regulator will spend a full day examining Audi's vehicle development from top to bottom for irregularities in its emissions testing in the latest sign that authorities no longer trust the automaker.
The KBA agency, a national body in charge of approving new vehicles for sale in the European Union, will conduct a thorough review on Wednesday at Audi's headquarters in Ingolstadt, Germany, of all processes involved in the run up to submitting a car for its whole vehicle type approval.
"Our utmost priority is clearing up this situation without reservations and we aim to prove that tomorrow during the certification of our test benches,” said Bernd Martens, Audi purchasing chief and head of an internal task force examining the diesel emissions scandal.
While parent Volkswagen Group's diesel-emissions scandal has retreated into the background, Audi is still discovering possible defeat devices in many of its upper scale models. Its CEO, Rupert Stadler, was arrested on suspicion of fraud and false testimony last Monday in conjunction with the scandal.
Now engineers are retesting countless motorizations for each engine output and gearbox combination. This has to be done simultaneously while preparing the switch to the new WLTP test cycle that takes effect for all cars in September, which Audi says is putting an enormous burden on their capacities.
In July Audi hopes to present the final test results for its family of V-6 diesels and is reporting any anomalies it discovers to the KBA.
Most recently Audi said last month that it had discovered peculiarities in the engine management software for Euro 6 diesels belonging to the outgoing A6 and A7 models. Roughly 60,000 cars equipped with a 200kW V-6 engine from its Gen2 evo diesel family were affected worldwide and their delivery to showrooms were stopped.
Last year it had previously found higher emissions in 24,000 older Euro 5 diesels belong to its A7 and A8 models.
In an attempt to address the concerns Audi for its part has said it introduced a set of "Golden Rules" governing the development of vehicles on their way to type approval, including detailed steps precisely documented to ensure standards are upheld.
The KBA has come under heavy fire for certifying fraudulent diesels for sale throughout the EU. A KBA spokesman confirmed the visit. "We are the primary authority responsible for emissions here [in Germany] and we do not rule out the use of any measures needed to ensure transparency and regulatory compliance," he said.