Prosecutors investigate Bosch employees in Daimler probe: Handelsblatt

FILE PHOTO: The Mercedes dealership of the south-western German city of Stuttgart is pictured before the annual news conference of Daimler AG in Stuttgart, Germany, February 2, 2017. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle/File Photo

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German prosecutors who searched Daimler's DAIGn.DE offices this week as part of a probe into diesel pollution are also investigating employees at automotive supplier Bosch [ROBG.UL], daily Handelsblatt reported, citing the prosecutor's office.

“We are investigating Bosch employees for suspected aiding and abetting in connection with the Daimler case,” the paper quoted a spokesman for the Stuttgart prosecutor’s office as saying.

Neither Bosch nor the prosecutor’s office were immediately available for comment on the report.

Authorities searched Daimler’s offices and other premises on Tuesday as part of an investigation of Daimler employees who the Stuttgart prosecutor’s office said were suspected of fraud and misleading advertising connected with manipulated emissions treatment of diesel passenger cars.

The paper said the investigation was separate from an earlier probe at Bosch that was connected to a diesel emissions scandal at German carmaker Volkswagen VOWG_p.DE.

The Stuttgart prosecutor’s office launched an investigation in 2015 into whether staff at Bosch were involved in the rigging of emissions tests by Volkswagen.

In the United States, Bosch earlier this year agreed to pay $327.5 million to U.S. VW diesel owners for its role in developing engines affected by the emissions cheating. It admitted no wrongdoing in the settlement.

Handelsblatt said on Thursday a spokesman for Bosch had confirmed there was a second investigation and said the company was cooperating with authorities.

Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Jane Merriman and Mark Potter