RECALL ON THE CARDS: Crisis-hit automaker Volkswagen is planning to refit diesel-powered models in Europe. Image: AFP / Michal Cizek
Rome, Italy - Italian police on Thursday (October 15) raided Volkswagen's main office in the country and those of its sports car unit Lamborghini in connection with the investigation into the company's rigging of emissions tests.
'Expense of customers'
Six Italian-based executives of the group were placed under investigation, including VW Italy's CEO Massimo Nordio and Luca De Meo, the marketing and sales chief of the Italian branch of Audi, another VW company, the AGI news agency reported.
The raids took place at VW's Italian headquarters in Verona and Lamborghini's base in Bologna.
They followed the filing of a fraud suit by Italian consumer rights group Codacons on behalf of 12 000 Italian owners of vehicles made by Volkswagen and its subsidiaries.
"Our case is that there has been fraud committed at the expense of consumers. If the police establish there has been illegal activity it will further strengthen our suit," the organisation said in a statement.
Volkswagen has said 650 000 of its vehicles sold in Italy had been fitted with software designed to cheat on pollution tests.