Audi parent company Volkswagen has filed a complaint with the Munich court over police searches of its law firm Jones Day earlier this month, Reuters reports.
The focus on Jones Day is believed to be linked to a never-released internal investigation report on the origins of diesel crisis commissioned by parent company Volkswagen, which was never published in its entirety contrary to VW's initial promise. The release of the preliminary report was held back in spring 2016 as VW neared a landmark settlement with U.S. agencies, with the automaker deeming the contents too sensitive to be seen at that particular moment.
Audi's top management also continued to steer clear of answering reporters' questions regarding raids by prosecutors from Munich in Audi offices in Ingolstadt, as well as its law firm Jones Day. Searches also reportedly included the residences of top executives, though Audi CEO Rupert Stadler strongly indicated that his home and office was not among those searched by prosecutors.
The search of the law firm's offices signaled an unusual and disconcerting turn for Audi after the automaker achieved a preliminary settlement with U.S. stakeholders over the fate of 80,000 Audi, VW and Porsche models equipped with 3.0-liter engines earlier this year. The raids are thought to have been connected to U.S. Department of Justice charges (to which VW pleaded guilty) of supplying false information to U.S. regulators, including CARB and the EPA.
It remains to be seen whether Audi will be able to avoid the fallout of the diesel crisis in the near term. Support from the supervisory board for the CEO certainly helps, but it is the prosecutors' office that determines the direction of the investigation.