Eurojust is assisting authorities in Germany, Italy and Hungary with a series of searches to counter the use of faulty emission devices in engines, used in cars of a Japanese producer. The devices were allegedly fitted in the Italian-built diesel engines of large numbers of cars, giving the impression that the vehicles’ nitrogen oxide emissions were in line with EU regulations. The engines were later assembled into various models of the car manufacturer at a Hungarian production plant.
The aim of the searches, which are taking place at the request of the Economic Crime Unit of the General Public Prosecutor’s Office (PPO) of Frankfurt am Main, is to secure various documents, data and correspondence. This information will later be examined further and analysed by the judicial authorities concerned.
The car producer, with its European headquarters based in Germany, is supposed to be aware that as of 2018 diesel engines have been fitted with the devices. These showed that the emission rates of nitrogen oxide were in compliance with the legal EU emission norms, whereas according to investigations so far, they seem to be above the set limits. The devices were obtained by the Italian engine producer from another Italian supplier.
Eurojust has organised a coordination meeting to prepare for the searches of business locations in Bensheim and Heidelberg in Germany, Corbetta in Italy and Esztergom in Hungary. Furthermore, the Agency is providing support to enable a swift cross-border judicial coordination between the authorities involved.
The operation was carried out on the ground by:
- Germany: General PPO Frankfurt am Main, Hesse State Police
- Italy: PPO Turin, Guardia di Finanza Turin and Milan
- Hungary: Police Headquarters of County Komárom-Esztergom