A criminal investigation has been opened by prosecutors in Germany into former Volkswagen Group chief executive Martin Winterkorn. This news comes after the German company confirmed it had cheated diesel emissions tests in the United States.

In a statement, prosecutors in Brauschweig revealed that the probe had been opened following a number of complaints, including from Volkswagen itself, asking for investigations about whether or not the automaker employed illegal measures in selling vehicles which weren’t meeting emissions standards.

Details about the criminal investigation come after Winterkorn said he had no knowledge of the fraudulent diesel vehicles. At the time of his resignation last Wednesday, Winterkorn also said he was “not aware of any wrongdoing on my part.”

On Friday, Porsche chief Matthias Muller replaced Winterkorn as the chief executive of the Volkswagen Group.

Since details about dieselgate emerged, Volkswagen’s value has plummeted by 39 per cent.

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