The fallout from the diesel scandal continues to haunt Volkswagen as German prosecutors and investigators raided the automaker’s Wolfsburg headquarters as part of an ongoing diesel investigation.
Prosecutors said investigators aimed to confiscate documents, Reuters reported. Volkswagen officials said the company was cooperating with the authorities but viewed the investigation as “unfounded.”
The raid is part of an investigation into diesel cars with engine type EA 288, a successor model to the EA 189 which was at the heart of the test cheating scandal. In 2015, VW admitted in 2015 to cheating U.S. emissions tests on EA 189 diesel engines.
The current query is a result, according to Volkswagen, of the automaker revealing the problem with its updated diesels, which is that when the EA 288 engine is tested, it doesn’t show a failure of the diesel filter and it’s in compliance with emissions limits and doesn’t have an illegal cheat device.
Prosecutors are targeting individual employees in the current investigation, Reuters reported. Since the initial scandal in 2015, German authorities have focused on not just Volkswagen, but several diesel-producing automakers.
Additionally, antitrust regulators from the European Union investigated major German automakers, BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen AG, claiming they conspired to limit the rollout of emission technology used on diesel-powered vehicles heavily promoted by the three automakers.
The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation last year. The investigation came a year after it raided the companies and two years after it slapped a record 2.93 billion euro ($3.4 billion) fine on a group of truck makers, including Daimler, for fixing prices and delaying the adoption of cleaner engine technology.
The EU executive said the “circle of five” – BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen Group’s VW, Audi and Porsche – held meetings where they may have colluded to limit the development and rollout of certain emissions control systems for cars sold in Europe.
Of course, all of this began with the bombshell event in 2015 that Volkswagen used cheat devices to beat emissions tests has so far cost the company about 30 billion euros ($33 billion) in fines, vehicle refits and legal costs, and also triggered a global backlash against diesel vehicles.
Volkswagen said when the scandal broke that about 11 million vehicles worldwide were fitted with the illegal software.