"Among them is the former CEO of Volkswagen AG Martin Winterkorn. He and the other suspects are suspected of fraud and unfair competition. … The prosecution now has information that the abovementioned suspect was aware of the software manipulations and its consequences earlier than he previously claimed," the statement published by the prosecutors stated.
During the investigative actions this week, a total of 28 facilities have been searched in the cities of Wolfsburg, Gifhorn and Braunschweig, the statement said, adding that the results of the searches could not be shared yet.
The public scandal around Volkswagen arouse in September 2015, when the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) accused the company of using software to falsify emission test results for its diesel-engine cars. Volkswagen engineer James Liang pleaded guilty to charges of fraud by concealing emission test rigging software from US regulators. The company admitted that 11 million of its vehicles worldwide had been fitted with emissions cheating software and agreed to pay settlements totaling to $15 billion.
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