Following last week’s announcement Daimler would spend EUR220m updating 3m Mercedes-Benz diesel vehicles in Europe in what it terms “voluntary service actions”, VW Group’s Audi said it was offering customers in Europe and other markets a retrofit programme for 850,000 cars with EU5 and EU6 diesel engines.

Models with six- and eight-cylinder diesel engines (V6/V8 TDI, EU5/EU6) would get new software to “further improve their emissions in real driving conditions beyond the current legal requirements”, the automaker said in a statement.

Germany’s Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) will help with the programme, the company added.

“In this way, Audi intends to reduce overall emissions, especially in urban areas. The service also applies to the Porsche and Volkswagen models that are fitted with the same types of engines and will be carried out free of charge for all customers.”

It also hopes the modification “will counteract possible bans on vehicles with diesel engines. With their low fuel consumption, diesel engines help to achieve the ambitious CO2 targets in Europe, which is another reason why Audi has decided to offer this retrofit programme”.

Audi said it had been “examining all diesel concepts for any irregularities. All indications have been investigated and since 2016, all engine and transmission combinations have been systematically reviewed”.

“Audi is aware that the investigations by the KBA have not yet been concluded. If those investigations result in further consequences, Audi will of course quickly implement the required technical solutions in the interest of its customers as part of this EU5/EU6 retrofit programme”.