Global, Markets

Audi head office raided in Germany as VW’s emission scandal spread out

According to reports in Germany, Authorities have raided the HQ’s of high end carmaker Audi, which is an derivative of outrage hit Volkswagen.

Prosecutors in Munich reportedly searched the Audi offices in the southern state of Bavaria shortly before the auto group’s chief Rupert Stadler started the carmaker’s annual press conference, a company spokesman said.

Premium car-making giant has previously been drawn into the emissions scandal that has surrounded VW following claims that the luxury auto group also sold diesel cars in the United States outfitted with special software intended at cheating on exhaust tests.

Reports said that the states authorities have launched an inquiry into the claims. Audi declined to comment on the probe. The prosecutors’ office was also not straight away available to comment on the raids, which followed VW’s annual press conference on Tuesday where the carmaker outlined further details of the impact the long-running humiliation on its business.

Following the incident Audi spokesman Moritz Drechsel said the raids were focused on the company HQ’s in Ingolstadt and at its plant in Neckarsulm in the neighboring state of Baden-Wuerttemberg.

“Audi is fully co-operating with authorities as we have the highest interest in clarifying matters,” Drechsel said, adding that he could not comment further due to the ongoing probe.

Audi’s mother company Volkswagen AG has confessed in the past that it intentionally fitted diesel engines with software that was able to sense when the vehicle was being tested and turned the emissions controls off during normal driving. VW cars then emitted almost 40 times the US limits of nitrogen oxides, a contaminant that can harm people’s health. Millions of cars worldwide had the deceiving device.

Later VW pleaded responsible in the US to a plot to get around American pollution rules. If a judge agrees to the Justice Department’s sentencing recommendation, the outrage might cost the giant firm above $US20 billion in the US alone.

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