German car maker under investigation for the same emissions-dodging swindle as disgraced parent firm Volkswagen
COPS searched offices of car maker Audi yesterday in connection with the emissions scandal that hit parent firm Volkswagen.
Sites in Germany, including Audi’s HQ in Ingolstadt, and some bosses’ homes were raided. Some 80 police officers and prosecutors were involved in the raids.
According to prosecutors, managers and engineers at Audi might have installed emission-cheating devices in Audis destined for the US, in the same way VW did.
VW must pay more than $ 20 billion for settlements of suits with car owners as well as criminal and civil penalties in the US alone in what is one of the costliest corporate scandals ever.
The searches started on Wednesday morning shortly after dawn and just three hours before Audi’s annual press conference.
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“For the embattled Volkswagen company, which Audi is a part of, the emissions-cheating scandal now reaches a new, dramatic level,” according to the Sueddeutsche newspaper.
“Until now, subsidiary Audi had managed to stay out of the limelight. But starting with the searches on Wednesday, the scandal now has reached Audi for good, a company known for quality, innovation and impressive profits,” added the Sueddeutsche report.
Audi engineers are said to have designed a 3.0 liter diesel engine for the American market equipped with a so-called “defeat device” designed to mislead authorities and customers.
The engine is said to be used in several car models of VW, Audi as well as Porsche. According to a US indictment, the Audi A6 Quattro and the A7 Quattro are affected as well as the SUVs Q5 and Q7.
Audi said it is fully co-operating with authorities.