[JURIST] A Swedish prosecutor on Tuesday announced a preliminary investigation [press release, in Swedish] into Volkswagen [corporate website] regarding the emissions test cheating scandal that has affected millions. Sweden's National Anti-Corruption Unit has said it is focused on claims of serious fraud and the keeping of false records. A spokesperson from Volkswagen said the company invited the investigation and denied the involvement of the Swedish branch of Volkswagen. Volkswagen has admitted they used technology to hide levels of toxic emissions from some vehicles in the US, and they face billions of dollars in fines.
The US Department of Justice [official website] filed suit [JURIST report] against Volkswagen earlier this month for alleged violations of the Clean Air Act [text]—the latest development in the Volkswagen scandal [JURIST op-ed]. Last year the Braunschweig public prosecutor's office opened a criminal investigation [JURIST report] of former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn, following accusations that the company cheated on government emissions tests by manipulating exhaust valves. The investigation followed several criminal complaints, including one filed by Volkswagen, and came less than a week after Winterkorn stepped down as CEO of the company. In his statement he accepted "responsibility for the irregularities that have been found in diesel engines" and said that he was "clearing the way for this fresh start with [his] resignation." One California federal judge is currently overseeing hundreds of lawsuits, and 47 state attorneys general are also investigating.