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Bosch faces second Dieselgate investigation

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Bosch is getting dragged deeper into Dieselgate. Source: Bloomberg

Prosecutors have launched another investigation related to VW’s diesel emissions scandal, this time focusing on employees of Bosch, a privately held car parts maker which supplies engine control systems and brakes to VW, Mercedes-maker Daimler and many other carmakers.

It is the second investigation launched into Bosch employees, some of which had already been the target of a probe since fall 2015, when VW admitted to the manipulation of 11 million diesel cars worldwide. The vehicles emit more toxic nitrogen oxide than laws allow, violating environmental laws.

The first probe focused on the suspicion that some Bosch employees helped VW conceal the fraud that had been running from 2008 to 2015. The new investigation charges Bosch employees of aiding Daimler in possible fraud and false advertising in relation to the manipulation of exhaust treatment in diesel passenger cars, a spokesman of Stuttgart’s prosecution office told Handelsblatt.

Bosch, based near Stuttgart in the town of Gerlingen, confirmed the investigation and said it was cooperating with authorities.

Prosecutors searched 11 Daimler locations in Germany earlier this week as part of an investigation which became known in March. Daimler has rejected the allegations.

Bosch, the world’s largest auto-parts maker, supplied the engine control device that houses the cheat software used by VW to manipulate diesel emissions during tests. Bosch has categorically denied any wrongdoing, insisting that it simply made the components according to Volkswagen’s specifications and was not responsible for how they were used. In February,  it agreed to pay $327.5 million, or €305 million, to U.S. owners and dealers of manipulated Volkswagen diesel vehicles. The company said it had decided to settle in order to focus on an extensive “transformation process.”

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Martin-Werner Buchenau reports from Stuttgart as Handelsblatt’s Baden-Württemberg correspondent. To contact the author: buchenau@handelsblatt.com

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