VW's Dieselgate Now Spreads to Audi
Company's luxury brand says 2.1M of its cars also had emissions cheat
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 28, 2015 7:01 AM CDT
An Audi A4 2.0T Quattro is displayed on the first press day of the Frankfurt Auto Show in Frankfurt, Germany, Sept. 15, 2015. The car show runs through Sept. 27.   (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)

(Newser) – The dust was just starting to settle on Volkswagen's emissions-cheating software on its US diesel vehicles, but new revelations show the hubbub spreading to Audi. The company's luxury brand reported Monday that 2.1 million of its vehicles—including 13,000 in the US—had the same cheat software, reports CNBC. Volkswagen's supervisory board handed down suspensions Friday for the R&D heads of its VW, Audi, and Porsche brands until it can figure out who played what role in the deceit, reports Reuters. Meanwhile, German prosecutors have started investigating ex-Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn, opening a criminal probe to find out who's to blame and checking for outright fraud, the AP reports—an even more possible scenario as German media reported Monday that a company engineer made cheating allegations back in 2011, CNBC notes.

This isn't the first time Volkswagen has faced emissions accusations: The New York Times notes that in the '70s, when the US started keeping tabs on pollutants spewing from tailpipes, Volkswagen was one of the first companies caught cheating. Now the pressure is really on: German authorities are demanding the company show a blueprint by Oct. 7 for how it's going to get its vehicles to meet national emissions standards without the cheating software, the Times of India reports. But perhaps just as pressing is restoring the company's rep. "Volkswagen is a core pillar of German engineering, and for something like this to happen is a strong blow," an automotive analyst tells CNBC. "Getting this reputation thing resolved is going to be a herculean task." (What helped fuel the whole cheat: Volkswagen's ambitions to beat Toyota, per the New York Times.)