Volkswagen officials are afraid of visiting the US, a German newspaper said on Saturday, reporting that US investigators have seized the passport of an employee who traveled to US for a visit.
US officials are probing a case in which Volkswagen could face penalties of up to $18 billion, after it admitted to have been responsible for rigged emissions tests of diesel-powered vehicles.
According to a company source, the investigators want to prevent the CEO from dodging questioning or criminal prosecution connected to the diesel emissions scandal.
Mary Nichols, Chief of the California Air Resources Board, which is probing Volkswagen has criticized the carmaker’s attitude on the scandal
A spokesman for Volkswagen said: "Volkswagen employees are still traveling to the United States. Everything else is speculation."
A released paper said, Mathias Mueller, new chief executive of the company is now unlikely to travel to the United State in the second half of November as scheduled.
The paper also quoted an official from group management as saying, "We need legal security here before he can fly to the United States."
There is no official schedule for the new chief executive to visit the United States and Volkswagen has not commented if such travel is likely.