An investigation has been initiated by German lawmakers on the boss of Volkswagen, Martin Winterkorn on the alleged cheating of test results for vehicle emissions, despite the company's own efforts to take on the crisis, which began with the suspension of three of its top engineers.
The carmaker has been embroiled in a big scandal, deemed the biggest in its 78 years of existence after admitting cheating tests for gas emissions of its diesel-fuelled cars.
The company instated Matthias Mueller as CEO, and they are in talks to have a law agency appointed to deal with the investigations. According to sources, the research and development heads have also been given the suspension at the VW brand, Porsche, and Audi brands.
Despite these suspensions, however, the crisis does not seem to be coming to a halt. According to law experts, Volkswagen might have to deal with legal issues, which include criminal charges, after it admitted to having 11 million diesel vehicles getting equipped with software specially crafted to cheat on such tests.
Investigators would have to consider and be on the lookout for additional erroneous statements made by the company to the EPA, to verify that VW has really attempted to hide or find a way around the regulators. The company could be charged with Fraud, should it be proven that the internet or communication platforms in it were used to plot the deception.
Accusations of money laundering would also be looked into, should investigators believe that VW may have sent illicit earnings abroad. As of the moment, carmakers could use more fuel than initially indicated, as they are using the same software, which could mean that a bigger problem is looming.
It was further explained that more than 2 million cars throughout the world have the said software installed. Moreover, according to Transport & Environment, other cars such as Peugeot, Mercedes, and BMW are using 50% greater amount of fuel than lab results.
The difference between results obtained in the laboratory, and performance on the road lead to investigators wanting to know the extent of nitrogen and carbon dioxide emissions, and what carmakers are doing to cover up these high rates.