Further investigations into the Volkswagen Group’s diesel scandal have led to the arrest of a former Audi manager as well as a probe into Porsche by investigators in Germany. Both instances involve allegations of fraud and false advertising relating to diesel emissions.
In the case of Porsche, Stuttgart prosecutor Jan Holzner confirmed to Reuters that there were grounds to suspect potential fraud and false advertising by certain Porsche employees in Germany and the United States. More details couldn’t be released as the probe is ongoing.
News of the probe comes a month after it was reported that Germany’s official transport authority, the KBA, was investigating Porsche over the use of defeat device software in a 3.0-liter diesel engine to hide emissions from European regulators. Porsche, together with fellow VW Group brands Audi and Volkswagen, has already admitted to using defeat device software in the U.S., in Porsche's case in the Cayenne Diesel.
The 3.0-liter engine is the same unit used by Audi, which the KBA already determined was fitted with defeat device software. Vehicles fitted with the engine emit excess nitrogen oxides when the steering wheel is turned more than 15 degrees, the KBA said. As most vehicle testing is done on a rolling platform where steering isn’t required, the software determined when the vehicle was being tested based on the steering wheel angle.
Munich prosecutors are separately investigating Audi about its role in designing the engine. They arrested a former Audi manager this month for fraud and false advertising. The manager is believed to be Giovanni Pamio who was accused earlier this month by U.S. authorities of giving the orders to develop the defeat device software. The arrested manager is the eighth person charged in various cases related to the VW Group’s diesel scandal.
In the U.S., the VW Group has already agreed to pay more than $20 billion in penalties and settlements and pleaded guilty to three felony charges over the diesel scandal.