"Akustikfunktion" was the coded term for the cheat device that Volkswagen installed in millions of its diesel-powered vehicles so that they could pass worldwide emissions tests. According to a claim from VW vehicle owners filed late last week in a San Francisco federal court, Bosch not only conspired to develop the devices with VW, but, according to a 2008 letter sent from Bosch to VW, sought indemnity from the automaker for any potential damages caused by the product.
A Bosch spokesman declined to comment to Bloomberg, citing the status of the current claim. Company officials had previously denied such claims, but, according to the claim, Bosch's role was "indisputable" in making at least hundreds of thousands of defeat devices for VWs that were sold in the US. Volkswagen reached a settlement with US regulators in late June that could cost the company as much as $16.5 billion because of the devices that were installed in almost a half-million vehicles. Meanwhile, VW has been subject to numerous claims in Europe from both consumers and the European Union, and sales of many of the company's models have been banned in South Korea.
The US federal government started investigating Bosch and its potential role in the VW diesel-emissions scandal late last year, but didn't accuse the German company of any wrongdoing at the time.