German Prosecutors Study Stolen Bosch Data for Emissions ProbeBy
German prosecutors are reviewing data that a former Robert Bosch GmbH employee stole from the car-parts maker a few years ago for any information that would help a probe of the company’s possible role in Volkswagen AG’s diesel-emissions cheating scandal.
The data, from an unrelated criminal case against the temporary employee that concluded in 2013, is unlikely to bring new evidence in the current investigation, Jan Holzner, a prosecutor in Stuttgart, said by phone. Bosch has been cooperating fully with authorities in the Volkswagen probe, he said.
“We examine all information as a general practice, but we currently have no indication that the data we gathered back then could bring new evidence for the ongoing investigation,” Holzner said.
Volkswagen disclosed last September that several of its diesel-powered car models carried software that switched on pollution-control systems only during official tests. Bosch, the world’s biggest manufacturer of auto parts, is being drawn into regulatory and legal probes of VW because it supplies the carmaker with engine-control software. Bosch said in a U.S. court filing earlier this week that it will defend itself against U.S. auto owners’ allegations in a civil suit that its employees conspired with the carmaker for a decade to develop the engine-manipulation technology.
WirtschaftsWoche magazine reported earlier Thursday that the prosecutors were looking at the earlier case’s stolen data for the new probe. Christoph Zemelka, a Bosch spokesman, declined to comment.