April 18, 2018 / 8:35 AM / 2 years ago

German prosecutors investigate Porsche board member over emissions

FILE PHOTO: The 2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS is presented at its World Premiere at the New York Auto Show in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., March 28, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/File Photo

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German prosecutors are investigating current and former employees of Volkswagen-owned sports car maker Porsche, including a management board member, as part of their inquiries into emissions manipulations, they said on Wednesday.

Around 10 premises in Bavaria and Baden-Wuerttemberg were searched by around 160 officials, the prosecutor’s office in Porsche’s home town of Stuttgart said in a statement.

“The three suspects include a member of the management board and a member of Porsche AG’s higher management. The third suspect is no longer employed at Porsche AG,” it said.

The searches form part of an investigation into employees of Porsche AG suspected of fraud and fraudulent advertising tied to manipulated emissions control systems of diesel passenger cars, the prosecutors said.

A spokesman for Porsche confirmed the searches, but declined to provide further details.

More than 2-1/2 years after Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) admitted to cheating emissions tests on diesel engines in the United States, the carmaker and some of its brands continue to be investigated by authorities.

Earlier this year, German prosecutors widened a probe of Porsche’s sister brand Audi, which developed a 3.0 liter V6 diesel engine used in about 80,000 VW, Audi and Porsche models found to have been equipped with illicit software.

Two Audi sites were also searched on Wednesday, Stuttgart prosecutors and an Audi spokesman said. The searches were at Audi’s sites in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm, Audi said.

Reporting by Edward Taylor and Ilona Wissenbach; Additional reporting from Irene Preisinger; Editing by Tom Sims and Mark Potter

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