By on September 14, 2016

Volkswagen Wolfsburg

The U.S. federal indictment of Volkswagen engineer James Liang, stemming from the automaker’s effort to cheat on emissions testing of their supposedly “clean” diesel engines, mentions an as-yet unindicted co-conspirator, “Company A”.

That firm allegedly helped Liang and his team at VW develop the software routine that only activated emissions controls when vehicles were being emissions tested. Company A was identified in the indictment as a Berlin-based automotive engineering company that is 50 percent owned by the Volkswagen group, which is also Company A’s biggest customer.



Though there was some early speculation that Robert Bosch GmbH was involved in VW’s diesel scandal, Bosch is almost entirely owned by the charitable Robert Bosch Foundation, so it can’t be Company A.

Our initial research on Company A pointed to IAV, which does a variety of work for a range of automotive firms, including powertrain software development. IAV, headquartered in Berlin, is half owned by VW AG, their biggest customer. However, Volkswagen has ownership interests in a number of companies, so in our initial reporting on Liang’s guilty plea TTAC didn’t speculate on the true identity of Company A. Since that was published, though, TTAC has been contacted by a reliable industry source who tells us that IAV is indeed “Company A”.

IAV is an international company with about 600 million Euros of annual revenue. The criminal charges against Liang were filed in the Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division, of U.S. District Court, whose jurisdiction includes two IAV facilities.

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9 Comments on “TTAC Sources: IAV Was Volkswagen’s Co-Conspirator in Diesel Scandal...”

  • avatar

    I thought it might be IAV. I believe they were also involved in the Elio engine which is how I became aware of IAV and the pictures on the IAV site indicated they do a whole lot of work for VW/Audi.

  • avatar

    doe sit really matter who it was , it was just VW, I mean they own 50% of this company and was their biggest customer so in theory they were just a VW subsidiary, if VW said design this they would have to do it.

  • avatar

    IAV = IBScrewed

  • avatar

    The EPA better start sniffing what’s coming out of the Elio car’s tailpipe then. Its new engine is being developed by IAV.

    • 0 avatar

      Do you think Elio could afford the same hush money as VW?

      • 0 avatar

        Would they need to? Generally, the manufacturer contracts a company to develop, tailor, or simply provide a platform of linked hardware and software in order to save time and cost, which meets certain goals and targets. Elio (and any other company that contracted IAV) could unwittingly have received a version of the emissions cheat program in their software, as it allowed VW and IAV to meet unobtainable targets for emissions in the diesel platform in question.

        Of course, it could also have been a premium product used only for VWAG products and not shared with any other companies that contracted said supplier.

  • avatar
    Trucky McTruckface

    Every time I see that picture of the Wolfsburg factory, I’m reminded of the cover of Pink Floyd’s Animals. Just needs a pig balloon floating above it.

    Given VW’s recent history, it seems rather fitting, too. They’re nearly a laugh but really a cry.

  • avatar

    Is there any proof for what is written here?

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