German prosecutors have opened an investigation into former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn after the company admitted that they cheated on diesel emissions tests in the United States.

According to Reuters, Volkswagen also suspended its three top engineers to address the issue which has “knocked more than a third off its market value and could harm Germany's economy.”

Reuters adds that Volkswagen's market value has fallen by more than 25 billion euros since it admitted to cheating U.S. emissions tests.

Other than the United States, Germany's transport minister reportedly said that Volkswagen also manipulated emissions tests in Europe where the company has bigger sales.

In this regard, the German prosecutor's office said Winterkorn faces “allegations of fraud in the sale of cars with manipulated emissions data" based on charges filed by about 10 unidentified individuals.

Last week, Winterkorn resigned from his post after the company admitted they had manipulated the results in U.S. emission testing. He was replaced by Porsche CEO Matthias Mueller, who plans to win back consumer trust in the Volkswagen Auto Group.

Source: Reuters