LAMBO INVOLVED IN SCANDAL? Prosecutors in Italy are investigating local managers at Volkswagen and Lamborghini for alleged fraud. Image: iStock / Domijan
Milan - Prosecutors in Italy are investigating local managers at Volkswagen and its sports car business Lamborghini for alleged fraud after the automaker admitted to cheating on emissions tests for diesel vehicles.
Mario Giulio Schinaia, chief prosecutor in the northern Italian town of Verona, where Volkswagen has its Italian headquarters, said that police had conducted searches at both Volkswagen and Lamborghini's head offices on Thursday.
The investigation of managers at the two companies is part of a legal procedure connected with the searches, he said.
'We need proof'
Schinaia said: "If we want to be able to prove that (cars) have been sold by people who knew they were committing a crime, we need proof that people were aware."
"It is one thing if I sell water and pretend it's wine but if I sell water believing it is wine it's different."
Lamborghini, which Volkswagen acquired in 1998, has its headquarters in Bologna.
Both Volkswagen and Lamborghini declined to comment.
In September 2015, a judicial source said prosecutors in Turin were looking into whether emissions data from Volkswagen cars circulating in Italy had been manipulated.
Italian consumer group Codacons has presented a class action lawsuit against Volkswagen, accusing the company of deceiving car owners and potentially harming the environment.
Volkswagen is grappling with the fallout from the emissions scandal which some analysts estimate could cost the group as much as 35 billion euros to cover vehicle refits, regulatory fines and lawsuits.
Volkswagen has said it may have installed software that enabled it to cheat diesel emissions tests on up to 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide.
On Wednesday, the head of Volkswagen's Italian operations told parliament in Rome that the company's investment plans for Italy would not be affected.
VW suspends head of Kassel factory
Volkswagen has suspended the head of its main transmissions plant as
it presses on with an investigation into who was responsible for
cheating on diesel emissions tests, two people familiar with the matter
Falko Rudolph, head of VW's factory in Kassel, Germany,
has been suspended after being questioned by internal investigators
last week, one of the people told Reuters on Thursday.
who previously ran VW's main engines plant in Salzgitter, oversaw the
development of diesel engines at VW between 2006 and 2010. His
suspension was reported earlier on Thursday by the Wall Street Journal.
VW declined to comment.