German Automakers 'Rearrange' Staff After Newest Diesel-related Scandal, Audi Employees See Homes Raided
Daimler AG and BMW group suspended or moved several employees linked to a group that was commissioned for research that involved exposing monkeys and humans to potentially harmful gases. While the nature of these tests may not be extraordinary or illegal, the public response has been one of outrage.
Volkswagen suspended chief lobbyist Thomas Steg earlier this week for similar reasons, but the other automakers have now followed suit in the hopes of quelling public anger. The automakers haven’t kept silent on the matter, either. High-ranking executives have called the research repugnant, suggesting that the ethics employed by the European Research Group on Environment and Health in the Transport Sector (EUGT) were unacceptable.
BMW said it will remove its representative on the EUGT’s management board from his current functions, pending an investigation into EUGT’s research by the automaker’s legal team. Daimler claimed it would suspend at least one employee linked to the scandal while an externally hired law firm investigates the diesel-related testing. Neither company confirmed the names of the employees.
Meanwhile, German prosecutors raided the homes of several Audi staff members (both current and former) in connection to VW Group’s earlier emissions-cheating scandal. The “official visits” took place on Wednesday at roughly the same time the Stuttgart prosecutor’s office said two employees from Robert Bosch were under investigation on suspicion of fraud. That case ties back to another probe, which aims to uncover if Fiat Chrysler Automobiles used hidden software to allow excessive diesel emissions on 3.0-liter diesel versions of the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500.
As a major auto parts supplier, Bosch has previously been accused of creating the software that allowed Volkswagen to skirt diesel emission testing and regulations. The company has supported the ongoing investigations, cooperating fully with the responsible authorities.
Consumer advocate tracking industry trends, regulation, and the bitter-sweet nature of modern automotive tech. Research focused and gut driven.
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