BERLIN -- Volkswagen Group said that its global headquarters were searched again by German prosecutors in early March as part of an investigation into its emissions scandal.
Prosecutors have started a fresh investigation into suspicions of market manipulation to determine whether VW had understated CO2 emissions on more cars than it had publicly admitted, WirtschaftsWoche reported on Tuesday.
Authorities from Brunswick, the Lower Saxony state capital, searched 13 offices in the nearby VW headquarters in Wolfsburg at the start of March, seizing documents and computer files that will now be reviewed over the next few weeks, WirtschaftsWoche cited a spokesman for the investigators as saying.
The authorities said they were checking a statement issued by VW on Dec. 9, 2015 over suspicions its contents were not correct and whether it therefore represented a case of market manipulation.
VW said in Dec. 2015 that its own investigations found it had understated fuel consumption, and hence CO2 emissions, on no more than 36,000 vehicles. That was much lower than its own preliminary estimate of around 800,000 vehicles disclosed five weeks earlier.
The automaker also said it had found no evidence of unlawful alterations to CO2 emissions data, providing some relief as it battled the fallout from its diesel engine-rigging scandal to hide high NOx emissions revealed by U.S. regulators in Sept. 2015.
WirtschaftsWoche quoted VW as saying that it believed it met the requirements for such regulatory statements.
A VW spokesman merely confirmed that latest searches in Wolfsburg but declined further comment.
The prosecutor's office in Brunswick was not immediately available to comment when contacted by Reuters.