Former VW CEO Martin Winterkorn is under investigation in Germany, prosecutors say.
Martin Winterkorn will be investigated over “allegations of fraud in the sale of cars with manipulated emissions data,” German authorities said on September 28.
VW said last week that 11 million cars within the group could be affected.
The scandal was revealed after the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that some diesel cars were fitted with devices that could detect when the engine was being tested and could change the car’s performance to improve results.
Volkswagen apologized for breaching consumers’ trust, and on September 25 announced that Matthias Muller was replacing Martin Winterkorn as chief executive.
Matthias Muller promised a “relentless” investigation to uncover what went wrong.
There were also unconfirmed reports on September 28 that senior R&D heads working across the car group had been suspended. Reuters said the suspensions involved staff from the Audi, Porsche and the VW brands.
Meanwhile, VW shares continue to fall in morning trading, sinking a further 6.6% in addition to last week’s tumble.
The scandal has badly tarnished VW’s name, left it exposed to up to $18 billion in US fines, and wiped a third off its stock market value in a week.
German authorities have demanded that VW set out a timeline by October 7 on how it will ensure its diesel cars meet national emission standards without using cheat technology.
There were widespread German media reports at the weekend that the government ignored warnings two years ago that VW was using the software.
However, on September 28, a government spokesman denied this.