Volkswagen Workers Under Criminal Investigation for Breaking Tax Laws in Germany

Aaron Cole
by Aaron Cole
volkswagen workers under criminal investigation for breaking tax laws in germany

German investigators are looking into whether Volkswagen executives or engineers broke laws by lying about carbon dioxide emissions in 800,000 cars sold in Europe, the New York Times reported.

Authorities near the automaker’s headquarters in Wolfsburg say they are focused on five Volkswagen employees, but wouldn’t identify those employees. Investigators are determining if Volkswagen employees knowingly provided false information to authorities about those cars and their emissions to qualify those cars for lower tax rates. In admitting that it lied about its emissions levels this month, Volkswagen said it would repay governments for back tax revenue lost because of the bogus claims.

This month, Volkswagen admitted it underestimated carbon dioxide output from 800,000 cars sold in Europe and said the scandal could cost the company more than $2.1 billion. According to the New York Times report, Volkswagen’s admission included a promise to repay taxes owed on owners’ cars it sold with bogus carbon dioxide numbers.

Volkswagen could face similar levies by European governments for its broader, deeper scandal with their diesel-powered cars. Millions of those cars in Europe will need costlier fixes, and emissions levels for those cars could have exceeded by several times the legal limit.

Volkswagen set aside more than $7 billion to pay for its diesel scandal, but that’s likely to be a fraction of the overall cost to the automaker.

On Monday, Volkswagen announced the German transportation authority approved initial fixes for about 70 percent of the cars on the road there. The fixes for its 1.2- and 1.6-liter engines (not sold in the U.S.) and some 2-liter diesel engines would likely be software updates and bigger air filters that would cost about $10.

Last week, Volkswagen submitted its plan to U.S. regulators to fix their illegally polluting cars. According to the California Air Resources Board, officials have up to 20 days to review the proposed fix.

Join the conversation
  • Sirwired Sirwired on Nov 24, 2015

    Well, tax fraud is how they got Al Capone...

  • Wmba Wmba on Nov 24, 2015

    We get such opaque writing these days here. This article is ostensibly about VW lying about mileage claims, or CO2 on gasoline-powered vehicles Then it rambles off into other areas, presumably about NOx, which is about the diesels. I wouldn't object to some clarity as I'm not convinced the author really knows what he's writing about.

  • MRF 95 T-Bird Back when the Corolla consisted of a wide range of body styles. This wagon, both four door and two door sedans, a shooting brake like three door hatch as well as a sports coupe hatchback. All of which were on the popular cars on the road where I resided.
  • Wjtinfwb Jeez... I've got 3 Ford's and have been a defender due to my overall good experiences but this is getting hard to defend. Thinking the product durability testing that used to take months to rack up 100k miles or more is being replaced with computer simulations that just aren't causing these real-world issues to pop up. More time at the proving ground please...
  • Wjtinfwb Looks like Mazda put more effort into sprucing up a moribund product than Chevy did with the soon to be euthanized '24 Camaro.
  • Wjtinfwb I've seen worse on the highways around Atlanta, usually with a refrigerator or washer wedged into the trunk and secured with recycled twine...
  • Wjtinfwb Surprising EB Flex hasn't weighed in yet on it being the subject of a recall...