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Scandal! Audi unintended acceleration

1 week ago

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Writer:

Gavin Green | Journalist

Date:

14 May 2024

It looked like a classic case of automotive corporate malfeasance. Instead, it would go on to demonstrate media malpractice and driving incompetence. It was supposed to reveal the engineering failings of a mighty German car maker. Instead, it highlighted the fallibility of American drivers.

Our story concerns the Audi 5000 or, as it was known in Europe, the Audi 100. Forty plus years ago, the third-generation Audi 100 was a much-celebrated car, renowned for its clean styling and air-cleaving aerodynamics.

It won European Car of the Year in 1983 and was the first mainstream Audi to seriously threaten the premium global hegemony of Mercedes-Benz and BMW, Germany’s automotive royalty. Led by Ferdinand Piëch, arguably the greatest car engineer of modern times, Audi was on a charge, and would muscle its way into Mercedes’ and BMW’s markets through high tech and sharp style. Vorsprung durch technik, as the Germans could scarcely stop saying.

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