Volkswagen’s headquarters in Wolfsburg were not spared of the search, and investigators also checked six other unspecified facilities.
Unlike the situation with VW, the investigation that sent prosecutors to the offices of Audi was focused on the 3.0-liter V6 TDI engines that were used in its luxury models.
The same engine was also shared with Porsche, and both variants of the power plant must be recalled across the world once the proposed fix will be approved by the authorities of the countries where it was marketed.
As Automotive News remarks, this raid coincided with the day when Rupert Stadler, the CEO of Audi, was presenting the annual earnings report during a major press conference.
German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung noted that the prosecutors had learned of the gathering at a time when it was too late to adjust the schedule of the search, which implies that the coincidence was entirely unintentional.
Evidently, reporters who were present at the event asked the company’s CEO about the situation, and Stadler’s reply was that he “has always supported efforts to clarify the diesel issue at Audi.” The four ringed brand's leader also noted that the efforts to recover from the scandal are “far from over.”
Sources close to the matter told some journalists that homes of Audi and Volkswagen employees were examined, but Rupert Stadler has responded that his residence is not among them.
If the search was not enough bad news for Audi, the results of last year have noted a 37 percent drop in operating profit when compared to 2015. The return on sales fell to by 3.2 percent from 2015’ results, which led to a final figure of 5.1%, well below the targeted range, which is between 8-10%.