BERLIN (Bloomberg) -- Prosecutors in Germany have opened a criminal probe into former Volkswagen Group CEO Officer Martin Winterkorn after the automaker admitted it cheated on emissions tests in some of its diesel cars.
The probe was opened after Volkswagen and others filed complaints calling for a criminal investigation into whether fraudulent measures were taken to sell cars that didn't meet emissions standards and, if so, who was responsible, prosecutors in Braunschweig, Germany, said in a statement on Monday
Volkswagen has also filed a criminal complaint in the case with the same authorities to assist with its own investigation.
Eric Felber, a spokesman for Volkswagen, declined to comment, adding that the company generally supports investigations into the scandal.
The Volkswagen complaint didn't name Winterkorn, and the carmaker's supervisory board said last week that it had concluded Winterkorn "had no knowledge" of emissions-test data manipulation.
The probe comes five days after Winterkorn stepped down as CEO amid a scandal that wiped 23 billion euros ($25.7 billion) from Volkswagen’s market value.
Switzerland on Friday banned sales of affected VW models, while German regulators said Volkswagen needs to provide a solution for some 2.8 million cars in Germany by Oct. 7 or risk them being pulled off the road.
The German government is “working hard to contain the damage,” Peter Altmaier, chief of staff to Chancellor Angela Merkel, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television in Berlin. The government is keen to ensure that the reputation of German cars in general is “not damaged.”
Winterkorn was replaced on Friday by Matthias Mueller, the head of the Porsche car brand.