Last week news broke about what could turn out to be one of the biggest fiascos in the history of the auto industry. But it's not just Volkswagen. Audi and (European-based) Skoda vehicles are now also thought to be affected.
The deceptive software was uploaded on 2.1 million Audi cars and 1.2 million Skodas.
Audi released a statement saying that the A1, A3, A4, A5, A6, TT, Q3 and Q5 models are the ones in question and that over 13,000 American-owned Audi vehicles are subject to recall due to this scandal.
From last week:
Volkswagen intentionally installed software, called a defeat device, that made it appear its cars met the Clean Air Act standards that are enforced by the Environmental Protection Agency. This Act was implemented by the Obama administration and is intended to keep harmful pollutants out of the air.
The deception worked like this:
Volkswagen's software was rigged so it could tell when you were having your car tested, or if it was being inspected for emissions. During the emissions test, the software would order the car's engine into a different mode.
This engine change would ensure the car did not violate the EPA's standards for nitrogen oxide emissions.
However, once on the road, that same software would turn off those controls and the car would go back into normal driving mode. By some estimates, Volkswagen's cars were emitting up to 40 times the allowed amount of nitrogen oxide.
Under its Clean Air Act policy, the Justice Department can impose fines of more than $37,000 for each affected vehicle. If fully imposed, the EPA can fine Volkswagen $18 billion. Worse for Volkswagen, its reputation may be permanently damaged.
This recall affects Volkswagen and Audi diesel, 4-cylinder vehicles sold in the United States. The specific makes and models of the affected vehicles are the Jetta (2009-2015); Beetle (2009-2015); Golf (2014-2015), Passat (2014-15); and the Audi A1, A3, A4, A5, A6, TT and Q5 (2009-2015).
If you have one of these cars, you should receive a recall notice. Or you can contact your local dealer for further instructions.