Slow-moving German prosecutors have raided the homes of two former Audi executives in their investigations into diesel-emissions cheating. Currently, 17 people are under investigation for diesel-engine rigging at the VW-owned company.
In the US in December, VW exec Oliver Schmidt was sentenced to seven years in prison after admitting to the part he played in concealing the use of a defeat device on nearly 600,000 diesel vehicles in the US to cover up polluting engines. The authorities there have levied $25bn in fines, penalties and restitution payments in the Dieselgate scandal..
In VW’s home market, progress is somewhat less marked. There have been only two German arrests to date. In Europe, the company has not been ordered to pay financial penalties, nor has it offered any form of compensation to consumers.
There is a diesel recall in place. “Every single customer is important to us,” VW says on the NOx section of its German website.
The Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt, the Federal Motor Transport Authority, is regarded by many critics as something of a soft touch.