The diesel emission cheating scandal is apparently not over for German car maker Volkswagen in the US as four engineering managers at German carmaker Audi, a subsidiary of VW, were indicted by a federal grand jury in Michigan in connection with the scandal.
Violation the federal Clean Air Act, as well as wire fraud and conspiracy were the charges that were brought against Richard Bauder, Axel Eiser, Stefan Knirsch and Carsten Nagel in a 12-count indictment.
None of the four was in custody and they were believed to be in Germany, said a Justice Department spokesman to The Associated Press. There were no comments available from spokespersons of Audi and VW neither could they confirm whether the indicted individuals still worked for Audi.
Since extradition of German citizens to any other country except those in the European Union or the International Court is not permitted under the German constitution therefore it is unlikely that any of the four indicted individuals would be facing any US court judge .
The four people who have been named in the indictment had allegedly aided in the development and implementation of the so-called “defeat devices” which were built to enable VW vehicles to pass through stringent diesel emission norms in the US despite having higher than mandated levels of emission,
Reports quoting the US court documents said that Bauder headed the diesel engine development department for Audi in Neckarsulm, Germany, between 2002 until around February of 2012 while Eiser was in the same post in Ingolstadt, Germany, between 2009 until around May of 2013. On the other hand, the third indicted executive Knirsch was also the head of the same department in Ingolstadt from May 2013 to May of 2015, and was also a member of the management board of Audi. Nagel was head of Audi’s Engine Registration and Testing in Neckarsulm from 2002 through February 2017.
According to the wordings of the indictment, there was a realization among the indicted employees that it was not possible to develop a diesel engine that would have a storage tank for fluid to treat diesel emissions “within the design constraints imposed by Audi, including the need for a large trunk and high-end sound system.” This led the indicted persons, along with others, to allegedly create software that would be able to cheat on the emissions tests do that a smaller tank for the fluid could pass off the tests.
According to the indictment, the levels of nitrogen oxide emitted from the VW vehicles fitted with diesel engines were up to 22 times over the permissible U.S. limit as found during tests conducted by Nagel and the others. It further stated that the results were shared with Knirsch and Nagel.
The court document also said that the accused persons also did not mention and covered up the defeat devices in front of U.S. officials because they knew that “if they had told the truth and disclosed the [device’s] existence … Audi would not have obtained the requisite [compliance] Certificates … and would not have been legally permitted to sell the Subject Vehicles in the United States.”
(Adapted from FoxNews.com)