According to a recent report issued by a German newspaper on Wednesday, Volkswagen’s wholly-owned luxury unit Audi is now being investigated by German prosecutors in relation to the diesel emissions scandal.
According to the Funke Media group, Wolfram Herrle, chief prosecutor in Audi’s hometown of Ingolstadt in southern Germany, was quoted as saying a preliminary probe had been initiated to see if the company had breached the law. “We are currently reviewing all the facts in order to decide whether an investigation should be initiated,” he commented. Volkswagen last week acknowledged it had duped diesel emissions testing procedures in the United States and Germany’s transport minister added the cheating also happened in Europe, where Volkswagen AG delivers a bulk of its vehicles, with the company now going through the biggest crisis in its 78-year history.
On Monday the German prosecutor’s office announced it started an investigation of former VW chief executive officer Martin Winterkorn over “allegations of fraud in the sale of cars with manipulated emissions”, the charges being brought against him by ten unknown individuals. The former VW boss quit last week and was replaced by Porsche head Matthias Mueller, the former claiming he had no knowledge of any wrongdoing on his part. Other top executives were suspended from their functions, among them being Ulrich Hackenberg, the research and development chief of the Audi brand – as he was also the one leading technical development across the entire 12-brand group. Around 2.1 million Audi cars have been equipped with the rigged software, namely the A1, A3, A4, A5, A6, TT, Q3 and Q5 models.