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Did Volkswagen steal hybrid technology?

As if the diesel emissions scandal wasn’t enough, Volkswagen is now under investigation in the U.S. for allegedly violating patent laws and stealing hybrid technology from a company called Paice, which has developed systems for Kia, Hyundai, and Toyota. 

The German automaker worked with Paice from 2001-2004. The Baltimore-based firm claims VW abruptly ended their collaboration after Paice engineers had shared their patented hybrid tech. The problem is that Volkswagen reportedly kept using its former partner’s algorithms and mathematical models without a signed agreement.

Paice has asked the International Trade Commission to block sales of the VW Jetta Turbo Hybrid, Audi A3 e-tron, Audi Q5 Hybrid, Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid, and Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid in the U.S. until the investigation is complete.  

Lawyers representing Volkswagen have described Paice’s claim as “weak” and said that pursuing it goes against the public interest.