“In its investigation into the diesel emissions scandal, the public prosecutor’s office on Wednesday searched the premises of Volkswagen and the car supplier Continental. Investigators had visited offices in Hanover, Frankfurt and Regensburg, Continental said.
The reason was the investigation into defeat devices used by VW in diesel engines. The company is cooperating with the authorities. Volkswagen also confirmed the raid, which was first reported by the magazine “Economic Week”.
However, Continental reiterated its position from previous audits: “We have not supplied any of our customers with software for the purpose of manipulating exhaust gas test values.” On the contrary, the ‘exhaust emission limits applicable in the relevant period could in principle be complied with’.
Suppliers come into focus
The Volkswagen emissions scandal flared up in September 2015. Later, the question arose as to whether suppliers might also have been involved in the deception. They deny this.
In January, Japanese manufacturer Mitsubishi was also suspected of cheating diesel buyers with illegal defeat devices. During a raid in four German states, investigators searched the offices of the German Mitsubishi branch, a subsidiary and two major suppliers. Continental employees were led as witnesses in the trial.
At the end of May, the Federal Court of Justice ruled that Volkswagen had to pay its customers compensation for rigged diesel cars. VW announced one-off payments and said the ruling could be seen as a “final point.”
The criminal case for possible market manipulation against VW Group CEO Herbert Diess and Supervisory Board Chairman Hans Dieter Pötsch in the Diesel affair was closed in May against a payment of 4.5 million euros per person. From September, however, former Audi CEO Rupert Stadler will stand trial with three co-defendants for fraud.