This must have been embarrassing for Audi.
No matter how hard Volkswagen tries to move on from Dieselgate, the notorious scandal just won't go away. The German manufacturer has already admitted to fitting emissions-cheating software to 11 million of its vehicles and is paying hefty penalties to fix or buy back affected vehicles in the US. Looking to the future, VW wants to identify itself as an electric carmaker with its new I.D. range, but Dieselgate has once again come back to haunt the shamed automaker.
Reuters reports that German prosecutors have raided Volkswagen's headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany, as well as Audi offices in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm as part of ongoing investigations. Homes of some Audi executives have also been searched. The timing couldn't have been worse for Audi, as the raids happened only a few hours before the manufacturer's annual earnings conference, just to add to the embarrassment. While these latest raids were carried out in Europe, they relate to the 80,000 3.0-liter V6 diesel Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche vehicles sold in the US between 2009 and 2015 suspected of being fitted with emissions-cheating devices.
"With these search orders, we aim to clarify in particular who was involved in deploying the technology concerned and in the provision of false information to third parties," the Munich prosecutor's office said. Audi's earnings conference provided an insight into the repercussions the manufacturer has faced in the aftermath of Dieselgate. 1.63 billion Euros in provisions were set aside to handle the scandal in the US in 2016, up from 228 million Euros the previous year. The deadly Takata airbags also cost the automaker 228 million Euros in provisions, resulting in an operating profit loss of 37 percent, down to 3.1 billion Euros. Clearly, the repercussions of Dieselgate are showing no signs of ending soon.