German prosecutors have searched Audi's two biggest plants and several other sites in connection with an emissions cheating scandal, adding to pressure on Volkswagen's luxury division and its Chief Executive Rupert Stadler. Ciara Lee reports
Getting dragged deeper into the dieselgate scandal. Audi's offices are being searched by German prosecutors. The raids were conducted at its two biggest plants and several other sites. (SOUNDBITE) (German) AUDI CHIEF EXECUTIVE, RUPERT STADLER, SAYING: "I will not comment on the raids. Please understand that because of the ongoing investigation we can't comment. I personally have greatest interest in clearing up the issue and it goes without saying that we will fully cooperate with the authorities." The news coincides with the release of the car maker's earnings. A 37 percent plunge in operating profit to 3.1 billion euros. It adds to the pressure on Volkswagen's luxury division and Stadler. Last month, Audi's supervisory board expressed its support for the CEO, despite criticism of his handling of the scandal. SOUNDBITE (English) CHIEF ECONOMIST, WORLD FIRST, JEREMY COOK, SAYING: "I think the CEO is fairly secure at the moment. They have been fairly open about what they've done and as I said, unless there is something new as part of these raids, as part of these investigations, then I think the market will kind of put these factors on the back burner." The investigation is in connection with the sale of around 80,000 Audi diesel vehicles in the United States between 2009 and 2015. Prosecutors suspect they may have been fitted with devices to cheat on emissions tests. Last year the carmaker increased provisions for the scandal to 1.6 billion euros. Audi admitted in November 2015 that its 3.0 litre V6 diesel engines were fitted with emissions control devices deemed illegal in the United States.