A federal grand jury in Detroit on Thursday indicted four managers at Volkswagen AG’s luxury Audi unit as part of the government’s probe into the German automaker’s diesel emissions cheating scandal, according to court documents.
VW admitted in September 2015 to secretly setting up software in almost 500,000 U.S. vehicles to cheat government exhaust emissions tests and pleaded guilty in 2017 to felony charges. Overall, 13 people have been charged in the United States, which includes the four Audi managers.
Managers Richard Bauder, Axel Eiser, Stefan Knirsch and Carsten Nagel all served in Audi’s engine development department in Germany. Bauder was head of Audi’s Diesel Engine Development department. A Justice Department spokesman stated none are in custody. All are said to be in Germany.
Lawyers for the four could not be identified at the moment.
The government previously indicted one former Audi manager in July 2017, Giovanni Pamio. The new indictment is a major expansion of the government’s criminal investigation.
The four managers are charged in a 12-count indictment with conspiring to evade U.S. emissions standards in diesel vehicles sold in the United States with 3.0-liter engines. The vehicles consist of the 2009-2015 Audi Q7 vehicles and other Q5, A6, A7 and A8 diesel models and VW Touareg vehicles. They are alleged of wire fraud, violating the Clean Air Act and conspiracy.