US probes Bosch in VW cheating scandal: Sources
Published: 2015-11-20 14:43:43.0 BdST Updated: 2015-11-20 14:43:43.0 BdST
US authorities are investigating German auto supplier Robert Bosch GmbH over its role in Volkswagen AG's massive scheme to cheat US emission standards, according to people familiar with the matter.
Federal prosecutors with the US Department of Justice are examining whether Bosch, the world's largest auto supplier, knew or participated in Volkswagen's years-long efforts to circumvent US 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 US 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 litre diesel models to pass US 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.
Bosch provides the engine control module, called EDC17, and basic software for nearly all the four-cylinder diesel cars sold in North America, including by Volkswagen AG, BMW AG and Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz.
Those systems regulate how a vehicle cleans burned-up fuel before it is expelled as exhaust.
Volkswagen had the engine software modified to turn on the vehicle's emission control system when it was being tested in the lab, then turn it off when the vehicle was on the road, according to US regulators.
For authorities to bring charges against Bosch, they would have to prove the supplier knew that their technology was being used by Volkswagen to evade emissions requirements, said Daniel Riesel, an environmental attorney at Sive, Paget & Riesel PC.
"If you know that a crime is being committed and you actively facilitate part of the crime you are on the hook," Riesel said. "A garage mechanic who soups up a car so a bank robber can make his getaway is participating in the crime."
But it is not clear what role Bosch played, how closely it worked with VW to modify the engine management software and how much it knew about VW's intentions to use software to cheat on emissions standards.
Bosch, a dominant supplier of the components used in "clean diesel" cars, was an early promoter of their adoption in the US market.
The Germany-based private company has lobbied US lawmakers since at least 2005 for laws to promote advanced diesel technology, according to congressional records.
Bosch told Reuters previously that the company supplies components such as engine management systems to automakers' specifications, and that "how these components are calibrated and integrated into complete vehicle systems is the responsibility of each automaker."
A Volkswagen spokeswoman declined to comment on the investigation.
Any unauthorised use or reproduction of bdnews24.com content for commercial purposes is strictly prohibited and constitutes copyright infringement liable to legal action.
- Geneva Auto Show
- Volkswagen pleads guilty in US court in diesel emissions scandal
- Self-driving Nissan car takes to Europe's streets for first time
- Peugeot buys iconic Indian car brand for $12m
- US judge approves VW dealers $1.2 billion settlement
- Trump threatens German carmakers with 35 percent US import tariff
- The hot and new at Detroit Auto Show
- Automakers, suppliers team up to share costs of self-driving cars
- Chided by Trump, Ford scraps Mexico factory, adds Michigan jobs
- BMW November sales up 5.9 percent, Mercedes poised to overtake
- Bangladesh to celebrate 46th Independence Day Sunday
- Two killed, more ‘well-trained’ militants inside, says army in Sylhet anti-terror operation
- Donald Trump greets Abdul Hamid, Sheikh Hasina on Bangladesh’s Independence Day
- It seems the army has settled for a long haul in Sylhet to neutralise the militants
- Army commandos end assault on militant hideout in Sylhet
- Gunfire, blasts heard as Sylhet militant hideout siege enters third day
- Police put on alert across country
- At least one killed, 20 injured in blast near militant den being raided by army commandos
- RAB intelligence chief injured in Sylhet blasts airlifted to Dhaka
- RAB Intelligence chief being taken to Singapore for treatment