VW saga continues

Following yesterday’s revelation that bosch warned Volkswagen back in 2007 about using ‘diesel duping’ software, German prosecutors have launched a criminal probe into former chief executive Martin Winterkorn, as two other car manufacturers names are added to the controversy.

Audi and Skoda, who both fall under the VV umbrella, now say they have a total of 3.3 million cars fitted with the software that allowed parent company Volkswagen to cheat us emissions tests.

Some 2.1 million Audis affected worldwide include 1.42 million in western Europe, with 577,000 in Germany, and almost 13,000 in the US.

Czech-based Skoda said 1.2 million of its cars were involved, but has yet to give a country or model breakdown.

Last week VW said that 11 million cars within the group could be affected.

The scandal was revealed after the US Environmental Protection Agency found that some diesel cars were fitted with devices that could detect when the engine was being tested and could change the car’s performance to improve results.

There were also unconfirmed reports on Monday that senior research and design heads working across the car group had been suspended. Reuters said the suspensions involved staff from the Audi, Porsche and the VW brands.

Meanwhile, Volkswagen shares continued to fall, closing down 7.3%. They are now down about a third since the scandal broke.

New VW chief executive Matthias Mueller said the carmaker has drawn up a ‘comprehensive’ action plan to ensure that its diesel models will be able to meet emission standards.

VW will tell its customers ‘in the next few days’ to retrofit diesel models equipped with manipulated software and provide technical solutions in October, Mueller said in a speech to top managers at Wolfsburg headquarters late on Monday.