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Another Four Ex-Audi Officials Charged in Diesel Scandal

Continuing probes lengthen list of implicated executives
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Prosecutors in Munich have charged three former Audi board members and a retired department chief with fraud in covering up diesel engine emission cheating.

The new indictments relate to more than 434,000 Audi and Porsche vehicles equipped with diesels—primarily V6 powerplants—that had been rigged to evade emission tests. Most were sold in Europe and the U.S.

5 Years and Counting

The cheater diesels were revealed by U.S. regulators in September 2015. Volkswagen Group eventually admitted manipulating about 550,000 4- and 6-cylinder diesels sold in the U.S. and 10.5 million sold by the group’s Audi, Porsche, Skoda and VW brands elsewhere.

Audi was responsible for the group’s V6 diesel development program at the time.

Prosecutors didn’t reveal the names of their four latest targets. But they say the three ex-board members indicted were aware of the cheating as early as 2013, yet continued to sell the doctored engines as “clean” diesels. The department head presumably had a role in developing the illegal emission control system.

Let the Probes Begin

VW commissioned an independent investigation into the scandal early on but has never released the results publicly.

But prosecutors in Germany and the U.S. have dribbled out a long list of former high-level executives implicated, suspended, charged and/or arrested at Volkswagen Group and its units since 2015.

Among those on the list are:

What It Means

When the diesel scandal began, VW Group initially suggested it was all the doing of a small cadre of a dozen or so midlevel managers acting on their own.

Outside investigators were skeptical. As time has indicated, they have reason to keep digging.

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