Police in Germany raided the offices of automaker Audi last week in connection with an investigation into the Volkswagen Dieselgate scandal. Volkswagen is facing criminal investigations in connection with the emissions cheating scandal from authorities in the city of Braunschweig, Germany, as well as a separate investigation of Audi by authorities in Munich.
Six Volkswagen executives are also facing criminal charges in the United States in connection with VW’s emissions cheating in connection with the Dieselgate scandal. Dozens of Volkswagen officials are also being investigated by officials in Europe in connection with the emissions scandal. Volkswagen has already agreed to pay about $22 billion in penalties and settlements related to the company’s emissions cheating.
In 2015, Volkswagen admitted that it had installed emissions cheating software on about 11 million “TDI Clean Diesel” models sold by the company. This software “defeat device” made the vehicles appear to emit lower levels of the greenhouse gas pollutant nitrogen oxide (NOx) during vehicle inspections. In fact, investigators found that the affected models emitted up to 40-times the EPA’s maximum allowable NOx emissions levels under the Clean Air Act.
Investigators said that the raid on Audi’s offices was connected with Volkswagen’s admissions of emissions tampering on vehicles sold in the United States. Audi is currently facing allegations of CO2 emissions cheating on its gasoline-powered models in the U.S.
The raids by Germany police were conducted at Audi’s offices in the Bavarian city of Ingolstad. Raids were also conducted in at least seven homes around Germany that belong to Audi executives. Prosecutors in Munich stated that the raids were conducted to help determine who was responsible for VW’s and Audi’s emissions cheating in the U.S. Prosecutors in Braunschweig said that they are also examining potential criminal actions and securities violations by Volkswagen in connection with the Dieselgate scandal.
According to lawsuits filed by attorneys general in New York and other states, the emissions cheating during the Dieselgate scandal originated at Audi. Volkswagen began to copy Audi’s emissions cheating on VW models beginning in 2006, according to the lawsuits.
In addition to the billions in penalties and settlements that Volkswagen has already agreed to pay in connection with Dieselgate, Audi has also agreed to pay $1.2 billion in connection with a lawsuit filed by the Federal Trade Commission over emissions cheating on Audi and Porsche diesel vehicles. Despite the widespread allegations of emissions cheating in connection with Dieselgate, Volkswagen executives have continued to deny that they had any knowledge before news of the scandal was made public about the defeat devices installed on millions of VW, Audi, and Porsche models.
Lawsuits Filed on Behalf of Volkswagen and Audi Owners
If you owned or leased a VW, Audi, or Porsche model that may have been affected with emissions cheating by these companies, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit. The first step in taking legal action is to speak with an attorney to find out if your vehicle may have been equipped with a defeat device by Volkswagen or Audi.
The lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson have filed hundreds of claims on behalf of VW and Audi diesel vehicle owners in connection with the Dieselgate scandal. Our partner, Michael Heygood, was one of a few select attorneys named to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (PSC) helping oversee the Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) in California involving VW and Audi’s diesel emissions cheating, which helped negotiate the multi-billion settlement with Volkswagen in connection with this litigation.
Heygood, Orr & Pearson is also representing owners of Audi automatic gasoline models, as well as owners of Dodge RAM 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel models, that may have been affected by emissions cheating on the part of these companies. Drivers who purchased or leased one of these vehicles may also be eligible to file a lawsuit.
For more information about whether you may qualify to file a lawsuit involving emissions cheating allegations against Volkswagen, Audi, and Chrysler, contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson for a free legal consultation. You can reach us by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or by following the link to our free case evaluation form and answering a few brief questions to get started.