U.S. state officials believe Audi developed the defeat device Volkswagen used to cheat on diesel emissions tests.
The lawsuits allege that the Volkswagen Group’s diesel cheating began in 1999 with the software developed by Audi. After that first known instance of the company using the defeat device, Volkswagen spent much of the next decade perfecting it for use in Europe and then the U.S.
The attorney generals for New York, Maryland and Massachusetts also allege that former VW CEO Martin Winterkorn and other top company executives developed six generations of defeat devices starting in Europe in 2004. By 2008, Volkswagen’s defeat devices were being used in the U.S. where “top brass” planned to confuse authorities and hide the truth.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said that the new allegations that Volkswagen and Audi cheated over a longer period “reveal a culture of deeply rooted corporate arrogance, combined with a conscious disregard for the rule of law or the protection of public health and the environment.”
The New York complaint also alleges that Matthias Mueller, current Volkswagen CEO and Winterkorn’s successor, became aware of the defeat device in 2006 while he was head of project management at Audi.
[Source: Automotive News Europe]
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