While Bosch stated in late August that legal claims made on its participation in Volkswagen’s fraud to cover up diesel-engine emissions were “wild and unfounded,” a new version of a lawsuit by U.S. car owners would beg to differ.
Automotive supplier Robert Bosch GmbH demanded eight years ago that Volkswagen AG indemnify it for working with the automaker on creating the “defeat device” used in VW, Audi, and Porsche diesel-engine cars. That claim was made in a revised version of the lawsuit filed Friday in a San Francisco federal court by VW owners against both companies.
Lawyers for U.S. owners of Volkswagen diesel-engine models have revised an earlier lawsuit filed in August. A new version of the suit removed what had been blacked-out sections to provide more information on the claims made against Bosch.
The German supplier continued to participate in the conspiracy with VW to hide accurate emissions reporting from regulators, the new court document said. The revised legal claims come from a 2008 letter from Bosch to VW.
“Plaintiffs do not have a full record of what unfolded in response to Bosch’s June 2, 2008, letter,” according to the court filing. “However, it is indisputable that Bosch continued to develop and sell to Volkswagen hundreds of thousands of the defeat devices for U.S. vehicles” even after the company acknowledged in writing that using the defeat device was illegal in the U.S.
In late August, Bosch said that a review of the plaintiffs’ documents “indicates that the plaintiffs have made wild and unfounded allegations.” In some cases, these allegations are based on speculation, a Bosch court filing document said.
VW’s settlements with car owners, the federal government, and 44 states have not included Bosch. VW owners are now seeking damages beyond VW’s settlement for the role they claim Bosch played in developing software to enable the German automaker to beat emissions testing in the U.S.
The revised suit addresses an active role Bosch may have played in deflecting the investigations. Bosch’s North American unit “regularly communicated to its colleagues and clients in Germany about ways to deflect and diffuse questions from U.S. regulators,” particularly the California Air Resources Board, according to the unsealed complaint filed with the court on Friday.