It has been a bad week for German car makers and it could get worse over coming months.
German prosecutors this week widened an emissions cheating probe into Volkswagen’s luxury carmaker Audi and Chief Executive Rupert Stadler is among suspects accused of fraud and false advertising.
In 2015,Volkswagen admitted falsifying U.S. diesel emissions tests. Munich public prosecutor’s office said it was now probing 20 suspects, and searched the apartment of Stadler and one other board member.
In more bad news, shares in Daimler fell following a report that up to a million Daimler cars contained illegal defeat devices and Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche was questioned by the transport minister yesterday.
German weekly Bild am Sonntag said up to 1 million cars contained software to cheat tests on diesel vehicles.
In another blow, Volkswagen said production of up to 250,000 cars from its group brands will be delayed in the second half of 2018 because of effects from new mandatory lab tests for emissions and fuel economy and a shortage of test cells.
Implementation of the so-called Worldwide Harmonized Light Duty Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) on Sept. 1 for new cars will temporarily restrict the availability of some models and could affect working capital by driving up first-half inventories.