Earlier this week, the prosecutors announced they had begun an initial investigation into Winterkorn for alleged fraud in the emissions regulation evasion. At that time, there were reportedly 12 complaints asking the lawyers to look into the case, including one from VW. Under German law, only a person could be charged for the potential crimes, rather than a whole company. "An initial suspicion must be based on facts, and you must begin an investigation before you can establish the facts," Christoph Schalast, a professor at the Frankfurt School of Finance, said to Bloomberg.
Meanwhile in the US, the investigation continues into VW. The Department of Justice has the support from at least two senators to pursue criminal and civil charges against the company. The attorneys general in at least 29 states are also looking into things. Meanwhile, lawyers are building a class-action lawsuit, as well. To help in its defense, the automaker is employing the help of the same firm that defended BP during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.