Exclusive: U.S. probes Bosch in VW cheating scandal - sources

Thu Nov 19, 2015 6:53pm EST
 
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By Joel Schectman

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. authorities are investigating German auto supplier Robert Bosch GmbH [ROBG.UL] over its role in Volkswagen AG's (VOWG_p.DE: Quote) massive scheme to cheat U.S. emission standards, according to people familiar with the matter.

Federal prosecutors with the U.S. Department of Justice are examining whether Bosch, the world's largest auto supplier, knew or participated in Volkswagen's years-long efforts to circumvent U.S. diesel emissions tests, the people said. Bosch built key components in the diesel engine used in six Volkswagen models and one Audi model that the automaker has admitted to rigging to defeat emissions tests. Federal authorities are also investigating how deeply the scheme permeated VW’s hierarchy, according to people familiar with the matter.

The probe is at an early stage and there is no indication that U.S. prosecutors have found evidence of wrongdoing at Bosch, the people added, asking not to be named because the matter is not public.

Volkswagen has admitted to installing software that allowed its 2.0 liter diesel models to pass U.S. clean air tests, while shutting off emissions control systems when its diesel cars are actually on the road. VW said in September that around 11 million diesel powered cars were affected worldwide, including 482,000 in the United States. A Bosch spokeswoman declined to comment. A Department of Justice spokesman also declined to comment.

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A Bosch Service sign is reflected in a car door while a product expert for diagnostics equipment of German auto parts supplier Robert Bosch analyses a car in a workout garage in Plochingen near Stuttgart April 15, 2013. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle