A German spokesman for Volkswagen declined to comment on the case, citing the fact that “as a matter of principle” the company didn’t comment on legal proceedings concerning labor law, Reuters reported.
The Volkswagen scandal dates back to September, after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency discovered a so-called defeat device in the company’s diesel cars. It turned out that those cars had software that could detect when the cars were being tested and would then improve test results by running the car at subnormal capacity and performance. The trick allowed engines to emit up to 40 times the level of polluting nitrogen oxide allowed in the United States.
The company eventually said that about 11 million cars globally had been outfitted with the software. Volkswagen has launched an internal inquiry and for the month of November said that employees who shared information as part of that investigation would receive amnesty protecting them from being fired, although not from possible criminal charges. The company is also the subject of criminal investigation by German prosecutors.