German prosecutors set out to raid two of the biggest plants of the multinational automobile company Audi. Along with this, the authorities also raided several other sites of the company in connection with the diesel emissions scandal of its parent company Volkswagen. The police and prosecutors raided the headquarters of the German carmaker, which has put its CEO Rupert Stadler under strain. It is quite an irony that when the German police were busy interrogating the diesel statistics of the company on Wednesday morning, at the same time journalists had gathered at Audi’s big results conference. Audi may have succeeded in impressing the journalists with its numbers but the case might not be the same with the German prosecutors.
Audi spokesperson Jurgen De Graeve has confirmed the news. He stated that the officials were present at the Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm offices of the auto company. Ingolstadt which is the head office of Audi was searched extensively. Neckarsulm is also an important site for the company as it holds a production site with a large development center. The main function of the site is to develop engines for almost all the cars manufactured by the company. It is almost as if the company expected the German police raid. This is as Audi has been highly unpopular for its diesel emissions scandal in the German media. There were a number of reports about how Audi engineers would cheat emissions tests. This took place through some engine computer trickery. This means that originally the engines released more diesel than permitted.
What triggered the raid regarding the diesel emissions scandal
In September 2015, Audi’s parent company Volkswagen had admitted of installing software to cheat emissions test in more than 11 million of its vehicles. This caused the biggest crisis ever for the company. It was difficult to trace as these vehicles from all around the world. Eighteen months after Volkswagen's diesel emissions scandal revelation, German officials decided to raid the significant workstations of Audi as well. According to speculations, around 80,000 Audi, Volkswagen, and Porsche cars with engines having a capacity more than 3.0-litre were using such illicit software. The software proved to be useful as the engines exceeded the U.S. emissions limit without drawing attention.
Volkswagen has agreed to spend more than $1 billion on fixing or bringing back these 80,000 cars. But calculations suggest that the recovery and rectification of all these cars will cost the company almost $17.5 billion. The German police released search warrants in order to get a clear idea about the participation of a Volkswagen official or a department in tampering the technology or provide false information to third parties which resulted in the diesel emissions scandal. Probing such a matter is essential as if Volkswagen walks out, other automobile manufacturers will try the same. Setting an example that messing with the emissions tests is illegal and unethical is extremely necessary. Cheating emissions tests not only breaks the law but also puts the health of millions of people worldwide at stake.