Published on March 16th, 2017 | by James Ayre0
Audi Factories & Offices In Germany Searched By Police
March 16th, 2017 by James Ayre
Audi’s two largest factories, along with a number of other sites in the country, were searched by German prosecutors on Wednesday, according to reports. The prosecutors were of course looking for new evidence relating to the Volkswagen (VW Group) diesel emissions cheating scandal.
It seems a bit late at this point to find anything that the company would consider to be too dangerous or embarrassing, though, doesn’t it? Those at the company have certainly been given quite a lot of time to cover their tracks, and I do have to wonder how intentional that is (consider the dependency of Germany’s economy on VW Group business, if you need a potential reason why authorities would be insincere in their investigations). At this point, it’s hard to tell for sure what the reason for the delay is.
The Munich prosecutor’s office released a statement on the matter that read: “With these search orders we aim to clarify in particular who was involved in deploying the technology concerned and in the provision of false information to third parties.”
The searches apparently involved prosecutors from a number of different jurisdictions, and state police from Baden-Wuerttemberg, Lower Saxony, and Bavaria.
Audi CEO Rupert Stadler told reporters at a press conference on a different matter: “I have all along supported efforts to clear up the diesel issue at Audi,” and that efforts to bounce back from the scandal were “far from over.”
Reuters provides more: “A statement from the prosecutor on Wednesday’s raids cited suspicion that the cars, sold in the United States between 2009 and 2015, were also fitted with devices to cheat tests. VW’s Wolfsburg headquarters were searched, along with Audi’s Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm factories and 6 other unspecified sites, the group said. The two Audi plants employ a combined 60,000 workers. Some 70 law enforcement officials also searched offices and private apartments as part of the Ingolstadt operation, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters, adding that Stadler’s home was not among those raided. … Stadler, who has run Audi since 2007, has been criticized for his handling of the emissions scandal but said on Wednesday he continues to command the VW board’s full support, reiterated publicly last month.”
Audi has of course stated, through a spokesperson, that it is cooperating fully with the searches and investigations.
As a reminder here, Volkswagen has now plead guilty to a variety of charges in US courts, and there are a number of criminal cases now pending against company execs.