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Porsche offices searched as part of ongoing diesel inquiry

By Charlotte Ricca

Seven current and former employees of the German carmaker are being investigated, according to Der Spiegel

Porsche offices have been searched by German prosecutors as part of an ongoing investigation into the diesel emissions scandal.

According to the German weekly news magazine Der Spiegel, three offices and three private apartments belonging to Porsche employees were searched.

The Volkswagen subsidiary was ordered to pay a €535m ($587m, £457) fine last year for its role in "dieselgate". The scandal broke in 2015 when VW admitted to cheating emissions tests for diesel engines.

Prosecutors said Porsche's development department had neglected its legal obligations, which led to the sale of diesel cars with excessive pollution levels.

They have now widened their inquiry and are investigating seven current and former Porsche employees, Der Spiegel said.

In 2018 the German carmaker said it would stop making diesel cars, and concentrate on petrol, electric and hybrid engines instead. In 2019 Porsche launched the Taycan – the first fully electric sports car on the market.

However, the company denied this decision was due to the allegations of software manipulation in diesel engines.

“The changed conditions on the market – falling demand for diesel models and growing interest in hybrids – have played a decisive role," said a statement. “We are honing the core of our brand and consistently focusing our company on the mobility of the future.

"We are concentrating on three pillars: further optimised combustion engines, plug-in hybrid models and electric sports cars.”

Porsche gave no immediate comment on the latest investigations.

FURTHER READING: Porsche defies gloom with record sales in 2019

FURTHER READING: New cars in the UK emit more CO2 than older models

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