VW's Audi suspends two engineers in emissions probe
By Andreas Cremer
BERLIN (Reuters) - Volkswagen's (VOWG_p.DE: Quote) luxury flagship Audi has suspended two engineers after its larger diesel engines were found evading emissions limits in the United States, Audi CEO Rupert Stadler said in a newspaper interview published on Thursday.
Volkswagen (VW) and Audi notified U.S. authorities last Thursday that about 85,000 vehicles with 3.0 liter V6 diesel engines were fitted with emissions-control equipment that was not disclosed to U.S. regulators.
The news widened a scandal at parent VW which has led to the ouster of its long-time chief executive and wiped more than 20 billion euros ($21 billion) off the group's market value.
Audi is now investigating whether employees in technical development and other departments deliberately manipulated emission-control devices and has suspended two engineers, Stadler said in an interview with the Donaukurier regional newspaper, without giving any further details.
"We are surprised and shocked by the emissions news from the U.S.," Audi's acting chairman, Berthold Huber, said in a joint statement with works council boss Peter Mosch.
"Now the causes for such grave mistakes must be found and eliminated," said Huber, a former head of Germany's IG Metall labor union. "This has utmost priority."
The V6 diesel engine was designed and assembled by Audi at its factory in Neckarsulm, Germany and widely used in premium models sold by the group's VW, Audi and Porsche brands in model years 2009 through 2016, Audi said on Monday.
The Audi suspensions take the number of officials confirmed to have been put on leave across the VW group as a result of its internal investigations to eight, including at least six senior individuals. Continued...