Audi faces German emissions probe

BERLIN (Bloomberg) — German prosecutors opened another criminal investigation into the Volkswagen diesel-emissions scandal, this time looking at the company’s upscale Audi unit.

Prosecutors in Ingolstadt opened the probe after reviewing several criminal complaints, including one filed by Audi, said Juergen Staudt, a spokesman for the investigators.

The case is targeting people at the automaker who were responsible for the emissions results, but no individual suspects have been determined, he said.

Volkswagen is reeling from revelations in September that a line of diesel engines was equipped with software designed to fool emissions testers, affecting about 11 million vehicles worldwide.

Audi, which is based in Ingolstadt, is among the group’s passenger-vehicle brands that, along with the VW commercial-van nameplate, is faced with the recalls.

Prosecutors in the city of Brunswick are already investigating VW over the emissions. Their Ingolstadt counterparts have asked them to also take over their case, which they only did in part. So Ingolstadt started its own probe, Staudt said.

He said Brunswick prosecutors will investigate “those parts that are clearly located at Volkswagen” while Ingolstadt has kept the elements limited to Audi.

“But there are still negotiations pending whether to merge the probes eventually,” Staudt said.

About 2.4 million of the 11 million vehicles affected by the diesel scandal are Audi models. A further 5.6 are VW brand cars, 1.2 million are Skodas, 700,000 are Seat cars and 800,000 are light commercial vehicles, VW said in its third-quarter report on Oct. 28.

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