By on August 6, 2020

On Thursday, Munich-based prosecutors announced the indictment of four more ex-Audi managers in relation to Volkswagen Group’s infamous diesel emission scandal. This follows the charges brought against former CEO Rupert Stadler and a handful of Audi staffers in 2018.

The latest indictment involves three former board members and one department head who has since retired. Prosecutors stated the alleged crimes relate to 434,420 cars manufactured by VW Group brands which we already know where sold with trick software designed to circumvent emissions testing, according to Reuters and German outlet Handelsblatt. However, the grand total of vehicles suspected to be in violation of regulatory law are suggested to be closer to 11 million globally.

Even though the criminal aspects of Dieselgate were quick to wrap in the United States, with gigantic fines levied (civil suits continue to spring up), Europe was much slower to act. The German automotive conglomerate has a colossal suit pending in the United Kingdom and lost a landmark case in its home country that will open it to further litigation. Yet it’s been the criminal proceedings offering the biggest surprises, as they keep adding people to the roster.

From Reuters:

The prosecution asserts that the accused former board members knew of the practice at various times between October 2013 and September 2015 and still carried on with sales, or did not prevent them from taking place.

In addition, one of the former board members is accused of having known but kept silent about his involvement in the practices ahead of his board membership from 2016, thus fraudulently earning board member pay.

After years of investigative raids, it was looking like German prosecutors planned to harass the automaker endlessly without ever making a move. German prosecutors have, however, begun targeting VW, Audi and Porsche employees (both former and current) in batches over the last couple of years. Authorities have said the delays were necessary to build a rock-solid case against decision makers who allowed Volkswagen Group to skirt the law  adding that more indictments are always a possibility.

[Image: JL IMAGES/Shutterstock]

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