France opens Volkswagen emissions scandal probe

A Volkswagen worker arrives at the German carmaker's plant in Wolfsburg on March 8, 2016.
A Volkswagen worker arrives at the German carmaker's plant in Wolfsburg on March 8, 2016.PHOTO: EPA

PARIS (Reuters) - France has opened a formal investigation into suspected "aggravated fraud" by Volkswagen following revelations the German carmaker rigged vehicle diesel emissions tests, the Paris prosecutor's office said on Tuesday (March 8).

The prosecutor had already opened a preliminary inquiry in October, and French police had carried out searches at the German carmaker's offices in France, seizing computer material.

Volkswagen has said 946,092 vehicles in France were equipped with the EA 189 engines potentially affected by the emissions data manipulation carried out by the company worldwide.

The probe concerns vehicles sold in France, according to the prosecutor's office.