[JURIST] A local Munich Court [official website, in German] denied Friday a motion by Volkswagen (VW) [official website] to bar evidence seized during searches of a law firm working for the company. Volkswagen filed its complaint last week in an attempt to prevent German prosecutors from analyzing material confiscated during the March 15 raid [NYT report ] on Jones Day [corporate website], the law firm conducting an internal investigation for VW into emissions test cheating at the company. The court concluded [Reuters report] that the raids were lawful and the evidence would thus be available to prosecutors. The court’s decision will now be reviewed by the Munich District Court.
The VW scandal began in September 2015 when it was leaked that VW had intentionally circumvented emissions tests through installing technology to determine when emissions testing would take place and alter the cars emissions during inspections. It was found that the practice took place for at least six years. In February VW agreed to plead guilty and pay billions of dollars [JURIST report] to correct their 3.0 liter diesel engine vehicles. VW pled guilty [JURIST report] earlier this month per the agreement. In December the EU decided to take action [JURIST report] against seven member states over the emissions scandal. A US judge approved [JURIST report] a $14.7 billion settlement in October between VW and the US Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, the state of California and car owners who filed a class action lawsuit over the company’s emissions scandal. In September the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission sued [JURIST report] VW and its local subsidiary for misleading customers. In July a judge for the US District Court for the Northern District of California gave preliminary approval [JURIST report] to a $15 billion settlement between VW and the US Environmental Protection Agency, California officials and consumers.