Audi plants searched by German police in Dieselgate probe

Audi plants searched by German police in Dieselgate probe

The raids came as Audi CEO Rupert Stadler presented his company's 2016 earnings at its annual press conference.

The US government and VW have agreed on a so-called statement of facts recently, including accusations that Audi engineers designed a 3.0 liter diesel engine for the American market equipped with a so-called defeat device created to mislead authorities and customers on emissions.

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 US, agreeing to pay fines, penalties and consumer compensation of around $25 billion.

Volkswagen has admitted it equipped diesel engines with software that detected when the vehicle was being tested and turned the emissions controls off during everyday driving.

"Important differences between the performance of certain Renault engines in the laboratory and their results under real conditions", were found, the paper said, adding the accusation forms the cornerstone of an investigation reportedly opened by French prosecutors in January.

Watch This New Video of a Tesla Model 3 in Action
The company's CEO has also said that the company plans to release the Tesla Model Y before either of these two vehicles . Tesla is set to unveil its most important vehicle later this year when the drapes come off an all-new compact SUV.

VW's Wolfsburg headquarters were searched, along with Audi's Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm factories and six other unspecified sites, the group said.

Volkswagen and Audi brand vehicles with diesel engines make up the bulk of the vehicles caught up in Volkswagen's emissions cheating scandal.

The searches began shortly before the beginning of the Audi's annual earning press conference.

"I have all along supported efforts to clear up the diesel issue at Audi", Stadler told journalists. "We will keep at it until this work is done".

Peter Mertens, senior vice president for r&d at Volvo Car Corp., will take up his position as head of technical development at Audi on May 1, the CEO said, replacing former r&d boss Stefan Knirsch, who left the manufacturer in connection with the emissions scandal. However, German prosecutors said they were not investigating specific Audi managers, with the charges leveled at persons unknown so far. Millions of cars worldwide had the deceptive software.

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