Volkswagen Faces Criminal Investigation After $15.3B Settlement

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The U.S. Justice Department is working closely with German investigators to gather evidence for potential criminal charges in the Volkswagen emissions-cheating scandal, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates said yesterday, the Associated Press reports. Yates said investigators are looking at “multiple companies and multiple individuals” in the probe, but she did not identify any of them at a news conference to announce a settlement of up to $15.3 billion in the case involving VW diesel cars that cheated on emissions tests.

One company that could be involved is German auto parts supplier Bosch, which has extensive North American operations. Elizabeth Cabraser, the lead attorney for car owners that are suing VW, said civil claims can continue against Bosch, which made the “defeat devices” that turned pollution controls on during Environmental Protection Agency lab tests and turned them off on real roads. That allowed the cars to emit more pollution while being driven. A spokeswoman for Robert Bosch LLC said a probe in Germany was announced several months ago.

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