Three Audi employees are currently under investigation by German authorities.
Five years on, the infamous Dieselgate scandal is still haunting the Volkswagen Group. Recently, Audi CEO Rupert Stadler was arrested for his alleged involvement in the Dieselgate scandal and was denied release from jail. Now, Audi is under investigation in Germany for falsifying documents, mileage readings and vehicle identification numbers since 2013 to work around emissions regulations in South Korea. According to The Wall Street Journal, the investigation focuses on three non-board members but "there could be more."
Last year, an unnamed Audi employee in South Korea was convicted of fraud in a case that's linked to this latest investigation. They were sentenced to 18 months in jail for tampering with documents to make them appear legal and certified for sale in South Korea.
Audi became aware of this during an internal audit in 2016 but was not obligated to report evidence of these types of violations to prosecutors according to German news site Süddeutsche. A year later, Audi’s headquarters was raided by German authorities.
According to a report discovered during the raid, Audi employees deliberately manipulated test data and faked VINs to make it impossible to confirm the correct information about emissions and chassis numbers. Eighteen vehicle chassis numbers were wrongly entered during the test report, which was then sent to local authorities in South Korea to verify before putting the vehicles on sale.
Audi reportedly told German newspaper Handelsblatt a “Chinese gang” wanted them to cheat on emissions when asked about the chassis numbers. Investigations are ongoing, but this latest scandal won’t help VW and Audi repair the damage done to their public image.