Porsche has become the latest car manufacturer to be investigated over diesel emissions fraud.
The Stuttgart prosecutor's office has announced that employees at the German sports car maker and its US subsidiary were being investigated for suspected fraud and false advertising in relation to diesel emissions results.
Volkswagen, which owns the Audi, VW and Porsche brands, admitted systematic cheating of diesel engine tests two years ago.
Although the German authorities have confirmed that Porsche is being investigated, they have not explained why an investigation has started now.
Porsche has said it is cooperating with the authorities. It also claimed that it proactively sought contact with prosecutors before a formal probe was launched.
Some Porsche models are equipped with diesel engines supplied by Audi. Audi is under investigation by prosecutors in Munich in relation to at least one of its diesel engines.
Prosecutors have already arrested an Audi employee on suspicion of fraud and false advertising. The employee, who is in custody, is being sought by the US Justice Department for his alleged role in ordering Audi staff to devise software that could cheat in American emissions tests.
Aziz Rahman, Senior Partner at Rahman Ravelli, said that the case shows the damage that can be caused by not preventing workplace fraud.
He added: “What is happening at Porsche indicates the dangers of failing to prevent fraud in the workplace. But it also shows the knock-on effects that fraud can have.
“Porsche is being investigated for fraud but it is also accused of false advertising. The issue of fraud surrounding its emissions has now become something capable of not only causing it major legal problems. It could do immense damage to its reputation, its balance sheet and the brand that the company has worked so hard to develop over the years.
“Any failure to prevent fraud can have major implications for so many aspects of a company’s activities. For that reason, any company must go all out to gain the advice and help it needs to prevent it.’’