VW has criminal charges too; does Audi trans cheat make settling harder?


2015 Volkswagen Golf TDI SE

2015 Volkswagen Golf TDI SE

Enlarge Photo

The Volkswagen 2.0-liter diesel settlement was approved in late October, but the company's troubles are far from over.

VW still needs to reach a settlement with regulators over a smaller number of TDI models equipped with 3.0-liter V-6 engines, and it faces multiple additional lawsuits.

It hopes to address most of those issues before President-elect Donald Trump takes office January 20.

DON'T MISS: VW's home state calls diesel actions 'inexcusable' as scandal expands

The company is aiming to reach a tentative settlement for the 3.0-liter diesels by December 1.

It also hopes to settle pending criminal charges before the new president is sworn in, according to Bloomberg.

Volkswagen wants to have a "final decision" before the government changeover "so that we can have certainty," CEO Matthias Mueller said last week during a conference in Hamburg, Germany.

2015 Volkswagen Golf TDI

2015 Volkswagen Golf TDI

Enlarge Photo

Mueller indicated that VW would like to have a settlement sooner so that it would not have to deal with a new set of officials brought in by the Trump Administration to replace those it is now dealing with under the Obama Administration.

In addition to criminal charges on the federal level, Volkswagen faces lawsuits from 17 states over its use of "defeat device" software to cheat on emissions tests.

If those states win their suits, VW could face additional fines and penalties on top of what it has agreed to pay under the 2.0-liter diesel settlement.

CHECK OUT: California found a new cheat device in Audi transmissions: report

But settling the criminal charges and lawsuits may become more difficult than it would have been even a month ago.

That's because the California Air Resources Board (CARB) recently found another possible "defeat device" in certain VW Group models.

It was reported last week that the agency found software in the transmissions of certain Audi models—both gasoline and diesel—that might have been used to cheat on laboratory emissions tests.

2015 Audi RS 5 Coupe Sport

2015 Audi RS 5 Coupe Sport

Enlarge Photo

On Saturday, Volkswagen AG and its Audi division confirmed that regulators in both the U.S. and Europe are looking into the transmission software.

The routine in question reportedly detects a laboratory test based on a steering wheel that turns less than 15 degrees, and then activates different programming for the transmission that keeps emissions lower.

In real-world driving, the routine would not be activated, providing a "sportier" feel but also producing emissions that may exceed the limits.

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This discovery may explain why Volkswagen has repeatedly delayed making public the results of law firm Jones Day's investigation into the diesel scandal.

That report was originally scheduled to be released last April, before Volkswagen's annual meeting, at the latest.

It is thought that the U.S. Justice Department made that request in order to keep details related to ongoing probes confidential.

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