German police raided the offices and homes of Audi AG (AUDVF) executives in two southern German cities in connection with a criminal investigation of the company in the wake of Volkswagen AG's (VLKAY) diesel emissions-cheating scandal, Audi said on Wednesday.
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"We are cooperating fully with officials because we have great interest in clearing up the matter," an Audi spokesman said in a statement, saying he couldn't comment further in light of the continuing investigation.
Investigators are probing whether engineers and executives at Audi, the luxury car maker owned by Volkswagen, were involved in carrying out or covering up the plot by management at parent-company Volkswagen to rig nearly 11 million diesel cars world-wide to cheat on emissions tests.
Audi designed and manufactured some of the engines that were manipulated to show compliance with environmental standards in lab tests, but allowed to emit higher levels of smog-causing nitrogen oxides during normal road use.
Police from Munich and Stuttgart searched the offices and private homes of Audi employees in Ingolstadt, where Audi's headquarters are located, and in Neckarsulm.
Volkswagen has issued a global recall of all vehicles affected by the diesel manipulation and has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud in the U.S., agreeing to pay fines, penalties and consumer compensation of around $25 billion.