Bosch fights further diesel manipulation allegations in Germany and US

11 January 2018

Bosch fights further diesel manipulation allegations in Germany and US

11 January 2018

Vehicle parts supplier Bosch is facing more investigations over its role in the Volkswagen (VW) Dieselgate scandal in both Germany and the US.

German prosecutors have launched a probe into the company over its suspected involvement in relation to the company’s work with VW’s Audi brand. The manufacturer developed the V6 diesel engine that was fitted with cheat software, which allowed it to detect when it was being tested and alter the emissions profile to suit the situation.

The engine was fitted to over 80,000 Audi, VW and Porsche models, and a fix was recently approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) covering 2014-2016 Audi A6 Quattro, A7 Quattro, A8, A8L and Q5 diesel vehicles. The approved fix entails removing defeat device software that reduced emission control effectiveness and replacing certain hardware components. 

Prosecutors in Stuttgart, where Bosch is based, said they started at the end of December to investigate unidentified staff at Bosch, which makes emission-control devices and software, confirming a report by Wirtschaftswoche.

Bosch is fully cooperating with authorities, a spokesman said.

Stuttgart prosecutors launched investigations into the German supplier and its dealings with VW in 2015 when the Dieselgate scandal broke, and added further investigations in 2017 about alleged emission irregularities at Daimler.

Meanwhile, in the US, the company is taking further allegations of diesel software manipulation very seriously, responding to a lawsuit brought against it by US firm Hagens Berman.

The law firm accused Ford of rigging its F-250 and F-350 diesel pickups with emissions-cheating devices to ensure they passed tests, in the lawsuit filed on Wednesday. The lawsuit also names Bosch as a defendant.

‘Bosch takes the allegations of manipulation of the diesel software very seriously. It is a well-known fact that these allegations remain the subject of investigations and civil litigation involving Bosch,’ the German supplier said in a statement.

According to the lawsuit, Ford worked with Bosch to hide vehicle emission inefficiencies to maintain performance. The vehicle manufacturer has responded, saying: ‘Ford vehicles do not have defeat devices, we will defend ourselves against these baseless claims.’

In August 2017, Ford confirmed that German authorities had begun investigations into diesel emission issues, following media reports of suspicious test data relating to its Mondeo model.  

Finally, Bosch has completed the sale of its starter motor business and motor generator division to China’s Zhengzhou Coal Mining Machinery Group and China Renaissance Capital Investment. The deal was first announced in May 2017 and will see 7,000 jobs at 14 locations move over to the new ownership, allowing ZMJ to further internationalise its presence in the automotive supply market, including aiding the growth of its own business in the starter motor market.

The company hopes the deal will allow it to explore new opportunities in the future of mobility as it looks beyond the conventional automotive market. Earlier in January, it announced it had taken a 5% stake in digital mapping company Here Technologies to aid moves into maps for autonomous cars.

Photograph courtesy of Bosch