Probing Continues at Volkswagen, Continental

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
probing continues at volkswagen continental

German prosecutors have incorporated Continental into a probe aimed at determining whether Volkswagen Group cheated on emissions testing. While confessing to the crime in the United States years earlier is a fairly good indication of corporate guilt, Germany wants to make extra sure VW was in the wrong and has branched out its investigation to include suppliers that may have played a role.

On Wednesday, the automaker acknowledged it had been subjected to yet another probe after investigators arrived to comb through its offices. The same treatment was given to supplier Continental, which is suspected of having some sort of involvement in a scandal the automotive industry can’t quite seem to move on from.

Local authorities stated that 76 police officers, led by 4 investigators, flipped facilities in Hanover, Regensburg, Wolfsburg, Gifhorn, Berlin, Frankfurt and Nuernberg to determine how VW’s 1.6-liter diesel engine managed to circumvent testing requirements and pollute at greater-then-allowed levels once they hit the road.

Volkswagen, which has already settled in Brunswick after offering initial pushback in 2019, claimed it was only serving as a helpful observer this time. Still, there exists loads of pending litigation, as well as other municipalities that would love to fine it. Hanover prosecutors are among that group, and still have an open investigation into VW — though they admit the focus in the latest probe is the supplier.

“We are investigating employees of Continental for abetting fraud and for providing false documentation,” Prosecutor Oliver Eisenhauer told Reuters in a statement, noting that numerous engineers and a couple of project leaders are among the accused. A compliance officer and other executives were said to be helping with the investigation.

Will this be the event that finally settles things in Deutschland? We sincerely doubt it. Despite German authorities showing a willingness to investigate anything and everything, Dieselgate seems unabating. If you think the wheels of justice move slow here, then you haven’t followed our rolling reports of the diesel-relating probing going down in Germany. At their current rate of progress, they’ll be hunting for dirty executives and corporate accomplices long after we’re dead and buried.

Yet things haven’t exactly wrapped in the United States, either.

Last month, a U.S. federal appeals court ruled that some counties would be eligible to continue bringing civil suits to Volkswagen’s door. Other countries have taken similar action, leaving the automaker to offer its best defense on countless fronts before offering the obligatory settlement deal. There’s not much else it can do when its best counter argument involves acting like this was all an accident — especially since it already confessed to the crime half a decade ago.

[Image: Gyuszko-Photo/Shutterstock]

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  • StudeDude StudeDude on Jul 02, 2020

    Lincoln should seize the day and use the new RWD architecture Ford has developed to do a new Continental. Which is what they were supposed to do anyway until everyone at Ford gave up on cars. Make it hybrid, make it electric, have it equipped with a V8, I don't care but do it even though it may be a niche product. And do it with suicide doors which looks to be a luxury car thing as proven by the special edition Continental. The market will turn eventually from crossovers because no market remains the same forever. Be prepared and have something that Cadillac and company can only dream about.

  • Dukeisduke Dukeisduke on Jul 02, 2020

    This Continental was a half-assed effort from the start, being based on the FWD Fusion. Almost as bad as the FN9 cars. Lincoln teased us with concepts like the Continental concept of 2002, but eventually gave us this thing.

  • Darren Mertz In 2000, after reading the glowing reviews from c/d in 1998, I decided that was the car for me (yep, it took me 2 years to make up my mind). I found a 1999 with 24k on the clock at a local Volvo dealership. I think the salesman was more impressed with it than I was. It was everything I had hoped for. Comfortable, stylish, roomy, refined, efficient, flexible, ... I can't think of more superlatives right now but there are likely more. I had that car until just last year at this time. A red light runner t-boned me and my partner who was in the passenger seat. The cops estimate the other driver hit us at about 50 mph - on a city street. My partner wasn't visibly injured (when the seat air bag went off it shoved him out of the way of the intruding car) but his hip was rather tweaked. My car, though, was gone. I cried like a baby when they towed it away. I ruminated for months trying to decide how to replace it. Luckily, we had my 1998 SAAB 9000 as a spare car to use. I decided early on that there would be no new car considered. I loathe touch screens. I'm also not a fan of climate control. Months went by. I decided to keep looking for another B5 Passat. As the author wrote, the B5.5 just looked 'over done'. October this past year I found my Cinderella slipper - an early 2001. Same silver color. Same black leather interior. Same 1.8T engine. Same 5 speed manual transmission. I was happier than a pig in sh!t. But a little sad also. I had replaced my baby. But life goes on. I drive it every day to work which takes me over some rather twisty freeway ramps. I love the light snarel as I charge up some steep hills on my way home. So, I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Passat guy.
  • Paul Mezhir As awful as the styling was on these cars, they were beautifully assembled and extremely well finished for the day. The doors closed solidly, the ride was extremely quiet and the absence of squeaks and rattles was commendable. As for styling? Everything's beautiful in it's own way.....except for the VI's proportions were just odd: the passenger compartment and wheelbase seemed to be way too short, especially compared to the VI sedan. Even the short-lived Town Coupe had much better proportions. None of the fox-body Lincolns could compare to the beautiful proportions of the Mark was the epitome of long, low, sleek and elegant. The proportions were just about perfect from every angle.
  • ToolGuy Silhouetting yourself on a ridge like that is an excellent way to get yourself shot ( Skylining)."Don't you know there's a special military operation on?"
  • ToolGuy When Farley says “like the Millennium Falcon” he means "fully updatable" and "constantly improving" -- it's right there in the Car and Driver article (and makes perfect sense).
  • Master Baiter New slogan in the age of Ford EVs:FoundOnRoadDischarged