German police raid Audi offices, escalating Volkswagen diesel inquiry
FRANKFURT — A criminal investigation of Volkswagen’s diesel fraud escalated on Wednesday after authorities in Germany searched offices of the automaker’s Audi luxury car unit, threatening a crucial source of badly needed profit.
The new Audi investigation by prosecutors in Munich, along with a separate criminal inquiry into Volkswagen out of Braunschweig, are keeping the carmaker on the defensive as it tries to move past the emissions-cheating scandal.
Volkswagen has already agreed to pay $22 billion in penalties and settlements in the United States, and pleaded guilty to its vast emissions deception, which involved a variety of Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche-branded vehicles. Six Volkswagen executives face criminal charges in the United States, and the company is grappling with further legal action in Europe, where dozens of senior staff members — including its former chief executive — are being investigated.