German investigators have launched a new criminal probe into Volkswagen (VW) in light of the automaker’s recent emissions scandal. Prosecutors are examining five suspects who might be involved in this investigation.
An Irish Times report said that prosecutors in Braunschweig are now investigating tax evasion allegations at the scandal-ridden German automaker. The prosecution is looking into whether the owners of VW vehicles that were wrapped up in the faulty emissions debacle paid little auto tax.
A VW spokesman told the Irish Times that the tax evasion problems at the company is “not small”.
In October, Compliance Week reported that German investigators found less than 10 suspects associated with the pollution-cheating scandal. The company’s sales plummeted in light of the emissions test debacle. In addition to forking over billions in fines, legal costs and class-action lawsuits, VW faces serious reputational risks. Reports reveal that the company has set aside $7.3 billion to deal with the scandal—a number that is expected to increase as more information emerges from the investigations.
The Financial Times said that Christine Hohmann-Dennhardt, compliance chief, Daimler will join the VW board in a newly created position charged with overseeing integrity and legal affairs.
In September, the U.S. government charged that VW had sold more than 500,000 Volkswagen and Audi model cars in the United States with software that was designed to meet emission standards for diesel engines when tested, but pumped out 30 to 40 percent above limit emissions when on the road.