For months, a stranger recorded internal communication about a Volkswagen supplier in 2017 and 2018. According to information from the dpa news agency, an employee of the group has since been released. The online business magazine Business Insider first reported about it.

A VW spokesman did not want to comment on request. As long as prosecution investigations continued, the group did not comment on the matter, said Volkswagen Brand Finance Director Alexander Seitz. The company had filed a criminal complaint against unknown after the process was initially investigated internally.

The recorded conversations of a working group were about how to deal with the unpleasant supplier group Prevent, with which VW has been in a clinch for years. Prevent paralyzed several VW factories in the summer of 2016 because two subsidiaries refused to supply transmission parts and seat covers. From Prevent's point of view, VW wanted to pay too little.

Volkswagen wanted to get rid of Prevent

Before VW canceled all contracts with Prevent in March 2018, the company apparently consulted for a long time after several delivery stops whether and how to get rid of Prevent as a supplier. In total, according to Business Insider, it should be around 50 hours of audio material from at least 35 recordings.

"Volkswagen was the victim of an illegal eavesdropping attack," the group says. According to the company, the recordings are not available to the company. A spokesman for the group had said that Prevent had no knowledge of the recordings either, and it was even less likely that they were involved in their creation. 

The supplier group of the Bosnian Hastor family also saw themselves injured and had announced that they would consider legal proceedings against VW.

There have been no supply relationships between VW and Prevent since spring 2018. However, the companies are still in court. According to Prevent, more than ten cases are pending before German courts alone. Prevent has also filed a lawsuit against VW in the United States. The majority of VW's previous judicial decisions regarding the disputes are confirmed.