Prosecutors Raid Properties of Ex-Audi Executives in Expanded Probe

German prosecutors broadened a legal investigation of Audi AG’s function in diesel-emissions dishonest for a fourth time, with raids now focused on two former management-board participants of the luxury-car maker.

Two weeks after a seek of Audi’s headquarters within the within sight town of Ingolstadt, Munich prosecutors inspected the houses of 3 other folks, in keeping with a remark on Feb. 22 in keeping with Andrea Mayer, a spokeswoman for the place of business. The place of work of one of the vital other folks used to be additionally searched.

The most recent raids carry to 17 the choice of other folks underneath investigation for diesel-engine rigging at Audi, a part of Volkswagen AG.

The expanded investigation comes as a German courtroom considers whether or not towns may well be compelled to prohibit diesel automobiles — underscoring the mushrooming debate over diesel’s long term that used to be sparked through the 2015 VW dishonest scandal. As carmakers race to introduce electric-powered fashions, a best German pass judgement on stated on Feb. 21 that EU regulations impose “a gorgeous transparent accountability” to fulfill air pollution limits that German towns automatically overshoot.

The houses of former building heads Ulrich Hackenberg and Stefan Knirsch were raided, Wirtschaftswoche reported with out announcing the place it were given the tips. Attorneys for each weren’t instantly to be had for remark. Audi spokesman Juergen de Graeve stated he couldn’t instantly remark, reiterating that the corporate is continuous to totally cooperate with the government.

Hackenberg left the Volkswagen logo in 2015. He used to be an in depth confidant of former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn — himself a former Audi board member answerable for building — who used to be compelled out days after the scandal erupted. Hackenberg’s successor Knirsch needed to step down after simply 10 months in 2016, additionally in reference to the diesel manipulation.

The probe, which has concerned raids of Audi-related premises since March 2017, makes a speciality of attainable shopper fraud tied to Audi’s function in creating tainted Three-liter diesel engines that guardian Volkswagen offered within the U.S., in addition to deliveries in Germany. Prosecutors are taking a look at a minimal 210,000 diesel automobiles offered since 2009, in keeping with an previous remark.

VW has confronted a barrage of investigations and proceedings since U.S. government disclosed in September 2015 that the Wolfsburg, the Germany-based carmaker had rigged engines on 11 diesel fashions to cheat on emissions exams. The corporate has settled complaints within the U.S., taking greater than 26 billion euros (US$32 billion) in provisions for fines, settlements and different prices because the scandal got here to mild.

Investor proceedings proceed, and new allegations that Volkswagen diesel automobiles had been offered in another country with rigged device after its agreement have brought about calls through U.S. congressional representatives for a brand new probe in that nation.

By means of Elisabeth Behrmann and Karin Matussek