German prosecutors investigate Hyundai-Kia for alleged diesel fraud

(FILES) In this file photo taken January 10, 2017, the Hyundai logo was visible during the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan. – German stalkers have raided the offices of South Korean automotive group Hyundai-Kia and its supplier in connection with an alleged diesel emissions scam affecting more than 210,000 vehicles. Investigators conducted searches at eight locations in Germany and Luxembourg, the Frankfurt prosecutor’s office said in a statement sent to AFP on June 29, 2022. (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP)

Frankfurt, Germany (AFP) — German pursuers have raided the offices of South Korean automotive group Hyundai-Kia and its supplier in connection with an alleged diesel emissions fraud affecting more than 210,000 vehicles.

Investigators have searched eight locations in Germany and Luxembourg, the Frankfurt prosecutor’s office said in a statement sent to AFP on Wednesday.

Together with the Luxembourg authorities, the raids were aimed at securing “communications, software and planning documents” in connection with allegations of emissions fraud.

In particular, the Asian Automotive Group has reportedly sold “more than 210,000 diesel vehicles through 2020” equipped with “safety devices” that make cars look less polluting than they actually are.

The engine management software “came from Bosch and then supplier Delphi” now owned by the BorgWarner group, whose offices were also raided.

Together, the target groups were suspected of “fraud and air pollution, and incitement” to these crimes.

The investigation is the latest follow-up to the dieselgate scandal that erupted in 2015 when German automaker Volkswagen admitted to tampering with millions of diesel vehicles to cheat emissions tests.

Since then, the scandal has affected several leading European automakers, including Daimler, Fiat and Renault. Prosecutors also prosecuted auto parts suppliers Bosch and Continental for their alleged role in the development of fraudulent software.

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