German prosecutors have filed fraud charges against three former board members and a retired senior employee at Audi in the latest dieselgate legal development, which has so far cost Volkswagen more than $35.5 billion in compensation, fines, and costs for rectifying engines.
In 2015, Audi admitted cheating emissions tests on 11 million vehicles worldwide. Audi, a member of the Volkswagen Group has its roots at Ingolstadt, Bavaria, Germany.
CNN is reporting that Munich prosecutors said on Thursday that the latest four defendants were accused of “fraud, indirect false certification, and criminal advertising”. Although their names were not given.
The former senior employee charged on Thursday is accused of having initiated the development of engines for Audi, VW and Porsche vehicles equipped with so-called “defeat devices“, engine software that masked emissions levels.
The three former board members are accused of having known about the manipulations and initiated or failed to prevent further sales of affected Audi and VW vehicles at various times between October 2013 and September 2015.
- Former Audi boss Rupert Stadler already faces charges relating to the affair. He is due to appear in court later this year.
- Former Volkswagen chief executive Martin Winterkorn, who was in charge of Europe’s biggest car group when the cheating was uncovered, has also been charged and is awaiting trial.
- Former Audi and VW director Axel Eiser was arrested in Croatia in June based on an international arrest warrant issued by the US.
In July, offices across Europe were raided over suspicions that Fiat Chrysler and truck maker Iveco could also have fitted vehicles with illegal defeat devices.
The new age of electric vehicles that have already been initiated successfully by Tesla should help put a full-stop to this dieselgate madness.
According to EPA, a typical passenger vehicle emits about 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. This assumes the average gasoline vehicle on the road today has a fuel economy of about 22.0 miles per gallon and drives around 11,500 miles per year. Every gallon of gasoline burned creates about 8,887 grams of CO2.
EVs help reduces this threat because almost all U.S. electricity is produced from domestic sources, including coal, nuclear, natural gas, and renewable sources. EVs can also reduce the emissions that contribute to climate change and smog, improving public health and reducing ecological damage.