German prosecutors have launched an investigation into suspected tax evasion at Volkswagen. The investigation is directly tied to the emissions cheating scandal.
The new investigation is focused on five Volkswagen employees, a spokesman for the prosecutor’s office in the northern German city of Braunschweig, said on Tuesday.
The car manufacturer admitted in September that it installed emissions cheating software and hardware on at least 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide. The cheat devices allowed vehicles spewing up to 40 times the legal limit of emissions to pass emissions tests
As Germany’s car tax is rated according to a vehicle’s fuel consumption, the prosecution is now looking into whether owners of the affected Volkswagen vehicles underpaid on taxes,.
The main focus of the investigation is tax evasion, but it could also involve fraud.
British authorities are already probing several employees connected with Volkswagen on suspicion of criminal offenses that inclue fraud or violation of competition rules.