Scandal-hit German carmaker Volkswagen has confirmed that its global headquarters was searched again by prosecutors. The raids were part of an investigation into suspected market manipulation back in 2015.Volkswagen said Tuesday that its headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany, was searched again by prosecutors in early March as part of a probe into its diesel emissions-cheating scandal, confirming a magazine report.
Germany’s Wirtschaftswoche reported earlier on Tuesday that state prosecutors had started fresh investigations into suspicions of market manipulation at the company to determine whether Volkswagen had understated carbon dioxide emissions on more vehicles than it had publicly admitted.
Authorities from the city of Braunschweig searched 13 offices in the nearby VW headquarters in Wolfsburg, seizing a large number of documents and computer files that would now be reviewed over the next few weeks, the magazine said.
Getting to the heart of the matter
The authorities added they were checking a statement issued by VW on December 9, 2015, over suspicions its contents were not correct and could therefore represent a case of severe market manipulation.
VW had claimed its own investigations found it had understated fuel consumption and hence CO2 emissions for no more than 36,000 vehicles.
That was much lower than its own preliminary estimate of around 800,000 cars as disclosed five weeks earlier.
The ad-hoc statement provided some relief as the company battled the fallout from emissions-cheating revelations coming from US regulators in September 2015.
A VW spokesman on Tuesday merely confirmed the latest searches by prosecutors, but declined to comment on any suspicions of market manipulation.
hg/sri (Reuters, AFP)