Germany says Audi cheated on emissions

Audi’s emissions scandal flared up again Thursday after the German government accused the carmaker of cheating emissions tests with its top-end models, the first time Audi has been accused of this kind of wrongdoing in its home country.

The German Transport Ministry said it has asked Volkswagen’s luxury division to recall about 24,000 A7 and A8 models built between 2009 and 2013, about half of which were sold in Germany.

The ministry said the affected Audi models with Euro-5 emission standards emit about twice the legal limit of nitrogen oxides when the steering wheel is turned more than 15 degrees.

It is the first time that Audi’s top-of-the-line A8 sedan has been implicated in emissions cheating.

The ministry said it has issued a June 12 deadline for Audi to come up with a comprehensive plan to refit the cars.

The 80,000 3.0-liter vehicles affected by Volkswagen’s emissions cheating scandal in the United States included the Audi A6, A7 and Q7 models, as well as Porsche and VW vehicles.

— Reuters

Uber posts huge loss; finance chief to leave

Uber posted a $708 million loss in the most recent quarter and said that its head of finance is leaving. He is the latest executive to depart in what has been a tough year for the ride-sharing company.

Uber said its first-quarter loss was narrower than the $991 million loss it posted in the previous quarter. It had revenue of $3.4 billion, up 18 percent from the final quarter of last year.

Even before the announced departure of finance head Gautam Gupta, Uber was struggling.

The San Francisco company recently lost its head of communications, president and other senior executives amid allegations of sexism and sexual harassment in the workplace. Chief executive Travis Kalanick had to apologize after a video of him arguing with an Uber driver was made public. And the Justice Department is looking into allegations that Uber used an app to thwart authorities who were trying to determine whether the company was following local regulations.

The company this week followed through on threats to fire star autonomous-car researcher Anthony Levandowski, whose hiring touched off a trade-secrets fight with Waymo, the former self-driving car arm of Google.

Waymo has alleged that Levandowski downloaded ­documents containing its trade secrets before he left the company to found a start-up later bought by Uber.

— Associated Press

Also in Business

More than 65 percent of recalled Takata air bag inflaters in the United States have not been repaired, Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) said, urging automakers to speed up the pace of repairs. Nelson said only 15.8 million inflaters out of 46.2 million recalled to date have been repaired through mid-May, though recalls began in 2015. The affected inflaters can explode with excessive force, unleashing metal shrapnel inside cars and trucks. They have been blamed for at least 16 deaths.

The boards of Linde and Praxair have voted to merge, creating a $73 billion global industrial gases leader in what is likely to be the last in a wave of combinations that has resulted in a highly consolidated market. The deal combines U.S. firm Praxair’s operational efficiency and strength in the Americas with the leading technology of Germany’s Linde and its strong presence in Europe and Asia.

U.S. factory activity ticked up in May after slowing for two straight months and private employers stepped up hiring, suggesting that the economy is regaining speed after struggling at the start of the year. The Institute for Supply Management said its index of national factory activity ticked up to a reading of 54.9 last month from 54.8 in April.

— From news services

Coming today

8:30 a.m.: Employment data.

8:30 a.m.: International trade data.