German prosecutors raided Porsche and Audi offices at 10 locations, looking for evidence of fraud and misleading advertising concerning diesel cars. This was part of an ongoing investigation launched last July when authorities discovered some Porsche Cayenne and Macan SUVs may be fitted with emissions-rigging systems. Audi, as supplier of the motors to Porsche, was also raided. Both brands belong to the VW group.
The German prosecutors said they suspect one executive who is currently working for Porsche, as well as a senior manager and a former manager from the brand. They didn’t release any names.
This is the first time that a serving executive is suspected being actively involved in Dieselgate and led many to ask questions. Sources told Handelsblatt that Porsche boss Oliver Blume, who was promoted to become a board member at the VW group last week, is not among the suspects.
Authorities carried out the raid frustrated at what they see as a lack of cooperation by Porsche with the Dieselgate investigations, sources told Handelsblatt. Ever since September 2015, when Volkswagen admitted to systematic emissions cheating, prosecutors worldwide have sought to clarify who in the company knew what and when. While VW has so far paid €25 billion in fines, settlements and legal fees in different countries, many questions – and claims – remain open.
Authorities in Germany have raided Audi offices repeatedly, last September and most recently in February of this year.
VW’s emissions fraud affects 11 million cars, including its brands Porsche, Audi and Skoda. The cheat systems mean vehicles which are affected emit less toxic exhaust during testing, but spew out higher levels of the gases when they are on the road, circumventing environmental regulations.
Markus Fasse specializes in aviation and automobile industry news and works from Handelsblatt’s Munich office. Martin-Werner Buchenau reports from Stuttgart as Handelsblatt’s Baden-Württemberg correspondent. Volker Votsmeier is an investigative reporter with Handelsblatt. To contact the authors: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org