The FBI has alleged that former top managers at VW in Germany knew as early as July 2015 about the use of fraudulent software in diesel cars to cheat emissions tests and approved a cover-up two months before the scandal was exposed.
The FBI makes its claims based on testimony from three VW employees and two staff members of U.S. environmental authorities, found in a criminal complaint filed against VW executive Oliver Schmidt on Monday.
Mr. Schmidt was arrested at the weekend during a vacation in Florida on suspicion of deceiving U.S. authorities over the emissions scandal.
Handelsblatt has learned that the FBI is looking for evidence against former VW management board members alongside ex-boss Martin Winterkorn, who quit in September just a few days after Dieselgate was exposed.
Sources close to the people questioned by the FBI said the investigators were primarily interested in exactly when the board was informed about what.