Volkswagen’s electronics supplier Bosch has been slapped with its first class-action lawsuits as a co-conspirator in the VW Dieselgate emissions-dodging scandal.
While Volkswagen itself is facing dozens of class-action suits, a new suit filed in the US District Court in Detroit accuses Robert Bosch GmbH of aiding and abetting Volkswagen’s fraud.
The lawsuit accuses both Volkswagen and Bosch of civil fraud and racketeering, covering half a million Volkswagen and Audi cars in the US and 11 million diesel-powered Volkswagen Group cars worldwide. Bosch is now cited in class-action lawsuits in Georgia, Illinois, Ohio, Alabama and Virginia as well as Michigan.
The 56-page Michigan suit relied heavily on evidence that Bosch warned Volkswagen in 2007 that using software to defeat the official US emissions tests would be illegal.
“Volkswagen’s fraudulent scheme was facilitated and aided and abetted by defendant Bosch, which created the software used in Volkswagen’s defeat device,” the suit claimed.
“Bosch’s ‘hear-no-evil, see-no-evil’ rationale for knowingly profiting from Volkswagen’s crimes does not enable Bosch to escape civil liability under American law.”
The US Department of Justice last week announced it was examining Bosch’s role in the Dieselgate scandal, specifically whether it knew Volkswagen was using its parts to sell illegal cars.
“As early as 2007, Bosch warned Volkswagen that using its software in vehicles that were driven on the road would constitute a criminal offence,” the suit insisted.
“Nevertheless, Bosch proceeded to sell or licence 11 million of the component devices to Volkswagen over the next seven years.”