Spanish court investigates Volkswagen for possible fraud, environmental offences

MADRID – Spain’s National Court has opened a probe of Volkswagen for possible fraud and environmental offences in connection with the emissions scandal at the German automaker.

A court statement Wednesday called for a Volkswagen representative to appear before the court Nov. 10.

The court decision follows a recommendation from prosecutors who said the alleged offences may have affected people across Spain. They added that given that the cars in question qualified for state subsidies, the company’s actions could constitute fraud.

Volkswagen’s Spanish subsidiary, SEAT, said it fitted 700,000 vehicles with the EA 189 diesel engines that had software enabling them to cheat on emissions tests.

Volkswagen says 11 million cars worldwide have such software.

The prosecutors were acting on complaints filed by a Spanish anti-corruption group and a victims’ association.