Volkswagen Raided Again Over Diesel Emissions Scandal
German prosecutors raided Volkswagen’s Wolfsburg headquarters on Tuesday, continuing their prolonged quest to bust the automaker over a diesel emission scandal that has been more or less settled in the United States since 2017.
Germany must want to do an incredibly thorough job of investigating the automaker — it’s difficult to imagine raiding the same offices over and over being all that fun, especially after VW formally confessed its malfeasance in other parts of the world. However, according to Reuters, prosecutors might be looking for something different this time around. Volkswagen has said it is still cooperating with authorities, but described its latest surprise encounter with them as unfounded.
Volkswagen said the raids were linked to an investigation into diesel cars with engine type EA 288, a successor model to the EA 189 which was at the heart of the test cheating scandal.
The carmaker said it had itself disclosed the issue at the center of the new investigation — which is targeting individual employees — to the relevant registration authorities.
In simulations, vehicles with the EA 288 engine did not indicate a failure of the diesel filter, while still complying with emissions limits, Volkswagen said, adding the engine did not have an illegal defeat device.
Considering the scope of the company’s diesel-related screw-up, we don’t want to give them the benefit of the doubt. VW’s story changes all the time depending on which country you’re in. The automaker recently told a British courtroom overseeing a civil suit that the defeat device designed to fool regulators — installed in millions of vehicles — was actually software intended to update cars to be compliant with EU emission laws, not to breach testing protocols.
But Germany has really been dragging its feet on this. Many have criticized the country for being soft on the automaker, though the real issue seems to be how slowly it’s moving. Action is still being taken, just at a snail’s pace. German prosecutors have been eyeballing (and raiding) high-ranking executives that fled the company after the company was exposed for ages — charging some with acts that could require some real jail time.
Former VW head Martin Winterkorn was charged with fraud in April, an accusation that could end in a ten-year sentence if he’s convicted. Still, he’s far from the only VW Group staffer under the microscope of justice; the latest raid saw prosecutors leaving with more corporate documents that could serve as ammunition in the courtroom.
[Image: U.J. Alexander/Shutterstock]
Consumer advocate tracking industry trends, regulation, and the bitter-sweet nature of modern automotive tech. Research focused and gut driven.
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