Three employees from Audi are under investigation after it emerged that the automaker has been falsifying vehicle identification numbers (VINs) in South Korea to work around government emissions regulations.
German publication Suddeutsche Zeitung says that Audi has admitted to exporting vehicles to South Korea with duplicate VINs to cheat emissions rules.
A report which was confiscated during a raid of Audi’s headquarters in July 2016 details how company employees manipulated test data and faked VINs in order to make it extremely difficult to confirm correct emissions and chassis number data. Jalopnik states that this report was not passed to dieselgate investigators, perhaps suggesting that Audi thought they may have been able to get away with it.
The report states that eighteen vehicle chassis numbers were incorrectly entered before the vehicles were sent to local authorities in South Korea to be checked over before they could be sold.
In a statement, Audi confirmed that three of its employees are indeed under investigation but stressed that they are not board members.
Responding to questions from German newspaper Handelsblatt about the duplicate chassis numbers, Audi allegedly said that a “Chinese gang” wanted it to cheat on emissions. No additional details about this claimed ‘gang’ are known.
Investigations into the matter are ongoing.