German police have raided a VW factory in southern Germany, in what they are calling a “security breach”.
Police were investigating allegations of sabotage at the VW factory near Karlsruhe, south-west of Frankfurt, and said there had been “substantial damage”.
The carmaker’s head of production in Germany has been detained over the allegations, and VW is cooperating with police.
“Security breaches at VW Volkswagen have become an ongoing concern for the company and the police,” a VW spokesperson said.
“We are working closely with our German counterparts and have cooperated with police on the investigation.”
The company said it was cooperating with authorities and that “the security situation in Karlsauge is under control”.
Volkswagen’s operations are based in the southern German city of Karlsberg.
“VW has been under surveillance since March 2015,” the company said in a statement.
“This is a breach of the law and we are doing everything to ensure the safety of our employees and the communities we work in.”
The head of the Volkswagen plant in Karlsdorf has been arrested.
The German newspaper Bild has reported that police are examining the alleged sabotage of the VW plant in the town of Karlsburg.
A spokeswoman for the Karlsburg district prosecutor’s office told the Bild newspaper: “We have opened a criminal investigation into the allegations.
We do not have a specific reason for opening an investigation.”
VW confirmed the news in a tweet: “VW and our employees are fully cooperating with the authorities in Karlsburg.”
The German federal prosecutor’s spokesperson in Karlsvic said: “This was an incident of vandalism of the factory complex.”
A VW spokeswoman in Frankfurt said: “[The company] does not comment on any legal matters and has no comment to make at this time.”
The Karlsausdorf district court has scheduled a court hearing on Thursday.
Volkswagen declined to comment on the court case.
The allegations come just a week after VW announced a major overhaul of its emissions systems, including introducing a new emissions technology called Turbo Diesel, which was supposed to save fuel costs by up to 30% compared to existing diesel vehicles.
The company also revealed a new technology called the Diesel Engine Power Unit (DEPV) that was expected to be able to boost the range of diesel cars by up 60% compared with current models.
The diesel engine is expected to power up to 70% of Volkswagen’s passenger cars by 2040.
Volkswagen’s CEO Martin Winterkorn said the changes would improve efficiency and reduce emissions, but critics said it could also create more pollution in the atmosphere.
The new emissions system is being tested in some of the country’s biggest cities, including Frankfurt, where Volkswagen’s factory is located.
It has already been installed in the city’s main train station, where there are a few thousand employees.
It is expected that the new emissions will be rolled out in some cities in the coming weeks.
The firm has been forced to change the name of its diesel engines after its emissions scandal erupted in April, following a court ruling.