SPAIN'S Seat headquarters insists it has had no involvement whatsoever with the so-called 'dieselgate' scam where Volkswagen vehicles and affiliated brands were fitted with illegal software to mask CO2 and nitrous oxide emissions.
According to the board of directors, the production line workers who fit engines into cars are not allowed to touch either the engines themselves or the programme which runs them – and once they have been installed in line with these rules, the cars are imported directly to Germany.
None of the fitters, nor their managers, have any way of knowing whether or not the engines have been tampered with before they arrive at the factory, or after they reach their final destination, Seat stresses.
They have even offered to show the State prosecution service exactly how engines are fitted into Seat cars.
These declarations – made in person at a recent meeting in Madrid's National Court - were in response to prosecutors announcing plans to ask for copies of documents and emails from the German court which may, or may not, show Seat managers knew about the emissions rigging.
Prosecutor Marcos Azcárraga has been in contact with his counterparts in Germany, France, Italy, Portugal and Poland, whilst National Court magistrate Ismael Moreno has ordered Volkswagen to reveal the name of the company which masterminded the emissions-masking software and approved the illegally-high CO2 and NOx readings.
Moreno has asked Spain's ministry for industry to provide him with all the information it has to hand, including paperwork from the USA's environmental agency EPA about computer programmes fitted to Volkswagen, Volkswagen Van, Audi, Seat and Skoda models carrying diesel EA189 and Euro5 engines.
The case was opened in Spain after the anti-corruption campaign group Manos Limpias ('clean hands') presented legal action against a number of Spain's Volkswagen Group directors for crimes against consumers, the environment and the tax authorities, as well as fraud and forgery.
A group of affected VW customers, the Association of Financial Entity Victims (APDEF) has also filed a private prosecution against Volkswagen and its affiliate, Seat.
Since the scandal broke out, consumer groups have been urging VW customers to join in with the mass claim or to make their own against the motor manufacturer via the civil court.