VW UNDER-FIRE: Volkswagen's emissions scandal continues in 2016 as French prosecutors take legal action against the German automaker. Image: AFP/ Scott Olson
Paris, France - French prosecutors have opened a serious fraud investigation into Volkswagen over devices the German automaker fitted into cars to cheat emissions tests, a judicial source told AFP on Tuesday.
VW, a former paragon of German industry, has been plunged into its deepest-ever crisis after acknowledging that it had installed emissions-cheating software into 11 million diesel engines worldwide.
The probe, launched by Paris investigators on February 19, concerns Volkswagen cars sold in France, the source said. It is being handled by three investigating magistrates and follows a preliminary inquiry that started in early October.
Serious fraud office chief Nathalie Homobono said at her annual news conference Monday that investigators had already established that Volkswagen had cheated "with intent".