FRANKFURT: Volkswagen engineers have told the researchers that certain petrol engines in VW, Audi and Porsche vehicles can be used to manipulate emissions tests, according to Sunday on Sunday, Sonnberg said.
A spokesman for Volkswagen – the parent company of Audi and Porsche – said VW would not comment on an ongoing investigation, adding that the company had been in intensive discussions with the Federal Motor Transport Authority in recent months.
"There are no new conditions here," he said.
Gearboxes and software can be manipulated so that vehicles have lower carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and fuel consumption, according to Bild, referring to internal documents and witness statements.
VW's emissions scandal has cost the car manufacturer 27 billion euros for fines and penalties for systematic manipulation of cars on diesel to mask excessive levels of pollution.
In Europe, vehicles are taxed according to their level of polluting CO2 emissions.
It remains unclear whether the Bild documents represent a new dimension in the Volkswagen cheat scandal, since the car manufacturer acknowledged in 2015 that around 36,000 petrol cars were also tested for excessive emissions.
VW had the 36,000 cars checked by a neutral authority under the supervision of the regulator and found a minimal deviation from the requirements. The automaker was not obliged to make technical changes to those vehicles.
Regulators in the United States blew the whistle of deliberate emissions that foundered on 18 September 2015 after it appeared that the car manufacturer had developed an engine that did not comply with the pollution standards.
VW used software to detect when a car was subjected to an emission measurement test for the regulations and pushed back the engines during the test cycle, thereby masking excessive contamination.
When a car engine was accelerated and the gears were changed, the VW software would check if the steering wheel was in use. If the angle of the steering wheel was not changed, VW knew that a vehicle was tied to a test bench of a dynamometer, which activated exhaust gas filters.
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(Reporting by Ed Taylor, writing by Vera Eckert, editing by Dale Hudson)