In a move to woo customers, German carmaker giant Audi is offering free software upgrade for its diesel cars to improve emissions. The move to offer a free software upgrade for 850,000 diesel cars comes after rival carmaker Daimler did the same as the automobile industry makes a surge ahead amidst the public outcry over this technology.
Owned by the Volkswagen Group, Audi, the luxury car brand announced the voluntary upgrade of the diesel vehicles this Friday. The move comes four days after Daimler voluntarily recalled its 3 million Mercedes Benz diesel engine cars in Europe hoping to enhance their emission performances.
The free program by Audi will be applicable to cars in Europe and other markets outside the U.S. and Canada. The service applies to cars with six-cylinder and an eight-cylinder diesel engine that includes certain Porsche and Volkswagen models with similar engines.
Diesel engines of five German carmakers have been under fire in Europe after they were reportedly exceeding the EU emission standards. These include Mercedes-Benz, Opel and Volkswagen and its subsidiaries Audi and Porsche who together agreed to recall 630,000 diesel vehicles that failed the EU emission standards. Volkswagen has been under the cloud ever since admitting to equipping their vehicles with software that alters the level of emissions. It was found that the software controlled emission controls were illegally turned off on US roads in order to improve performance. Volkswagen paid $20 billion in civil and criminal settlements and penalties to get the things settled in the US.
As per the statements released by the automakers, it aims to maintain the future viability of diesel engines. The company firmly believes that the program will counteract the bans on vehicles that run on diesel engines. Adding to the above, the team at Audi also insists that the emissions will improve under real driving condition way beyond the existing legal limits.
The German auto making giant in convinced that the cars fitted with six- and eight-cylinder diesel engine will meet the Euro 5 and Euro 6 emissions criteria including the models produced by Volkswagen and sister company Porsche. According to Reuters, German car industry and government hold a combined notion that improving the diesel vehicles’ emissions through software update will help in avoiding the ban on diesel cars in German cities.
The truth behind such large scale move is that diesel cars have lower CO2 emissions. Carbon dioxide is a major greenhouse gas that contributes significantly the whole global warming phenomenon. Auto making industry strongly believes in producing vehicles that meet stricter CO2 emissions as part of a larger fight against climate change. Diesel engines, however, have higher nitrogen oxide emission which harms human health and sulfur which harms the environment.
Experts praise the move by Audi and Mercedes as a game changer but also bill it a meager tip of the ice berg. It is has been said that other should follow the suit of Audi to improvement in the engine management software to fight against the environment and painful city driving bans.