French police have searched the VW local offices, announced over the weekend the Paris Prosecutor’s office, with the raid conducted as part of the investigation stemming from the revelation of the carmaker’s cheating on emissions tests.
Volkswagen’s main French office in Villers-Cotterets northeast of Paris and another location at Roissy near Paris’ main airport were searched by the police, which seized computer material, according to an official from the Prosecutor’s office. A spokesperson for the company acknowledged the raid and added the German carmaker was cooperating fully with the authorities, but declined to detail the proceeds further. The Paris Prosecutor is doing a preliminary probe into suspected “aggravated deception” by Volkswagen, which last month admitted it had cheated on diesel emissions tests in the US, while the illegal software was fitted to a fleet of up to 11 million autos sold worldwide during the past seven years. In France the largest European carmaker said 946,092 vehicles were using the affected EA 189 engines which contained the potentially manipulative emissions data software. Last week on Thursday the company announced it would recall 8.5 million autos across the European Union, one of the biggest single company recalls done in the region in history.
According to industry observers and analysts, cleaning up the dieselgate scandal mess will need much more than the 6.5 billion euros ($7.4 billion) Volkswagen has already safeguarded for the task. Additionally, the potential damage to the influence and image of the carmaker is non-quantifiable yet, with the market value of the company already dropping by almost 30 percent since the start of the scandal.