Lawsuit Names Bosch as Co-Conspirator in VW Emissions Scandal
This week, a New York diesel Volkswagen owner filed a lawsuit against German auto supplier Robert Bosch GmbH, along with Volkswagen, former VW CEO Martin Winterkorn, and VW U.S boss Michael Horn. The 56-page lawsuit alleges that both Bosch and VW violated civil racketeering laws and committed consumer fraud.
As the scandal continues to grow, federal prosecutors are looking into whether Bosch knew about or participated in the cheating scandal, as the supply giant built key components in the diesel engine used in the six Volkswagens and one Audi rigged to pass emissions testing.
According to the lawsuit, "Volkswagen's fraudulent scheme was facilitated and aided and abetted by defendant Bosch, which created the software used in Volkswagen's defeat device." People familiar with the matter spoke to Reuters, saying that the Bosch probe is at an early stage but federal prosecutors so far have not found any evidence that would link the company to the emissions scandal.
Bosch has declined to comment since the start of the emissions fiasco, both about the scandal and now the lawsuit. However, the company also faces similar lawsuits in Atlanta, Chicago, Cincinnati, Alabama, and Alexandria, Va. The New York lawsuit cites a report from a German newspaper from September that claimed a VW internal probe uncovered a letter from Bosch in 2007 that warned the automaker that using the software supplied by Bosch in road-going vehicles would be illegal. "Nevertheless, Bosch proceeded to sell or license 11 million of the component devices to Volkswagen over the next seven years," the suit alleges.
The lawsuit goes on to say that Bosch is liable for triple damages for the fraud caused to U.S. consumers under anti-racketeering laws. Right now, a U.S. judicial panel in New Orleans is considering whether to consolidate the 350-plus lawsuits against VW for the emissions scandal and have them centralized in Detroit.