NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Volkswagen has filed criminal charges against the makers of a short film involving the Polo, a small car the company sells in Europe, according to Reuters.
VW lodged a criminal complaint with prosecutors in Brunswick, Germany, but did not specify a perpetrator, Company spokesman Hartwig von Sass told Reuters.
"This is an attack on Volkswagen's good name," he said of the ad, which he called cynical and criminal.
Under German law, it is possible to file charges against persons unknown and prosecutors and police are obliged to try to track down the perpetrators.
The VW spokesman told Reuters the complaint was about "all crimes that could be considered in this regard."
The makers of the film, according to various media reports, are a London based creative team known only as Lee and Dan. They have been quoted as saying that the ad was leaked accidentally and was never intended for public viewing. They have apologized for the film, according to previous reports.
They have reportedly not said how the making of the film was financed.
The film, which looks like an advertisement for the car, shows a middle-eastern looking man getting into a Volkswagen Polo, a compact car the company sells in Europe. The man drives the car to a spot in front of a sidewalk cafe. He looks down and presses the button of what looks like a bomb detonator held in front of an explosive-filled vest.
At that point, filmed from a vantage point outside the car, an explosion goes off inside the passenger compartment and blood spatters across the car's windows. The car, however, remains intact. The film ends with the tag line "Polo: small but tough."
Volkswagen has insisted that it had no knowledge that the film was being made and that Volkswagen provided no financing for it.
"We vehemently condemn that film and what it represents," Tony Fouladpour, a spokesman for Volkswagen of America told CNN/Money earlier this week.
Lee and Dan have not yet responded to an e-mail sent Wednesday morning by CNN/Money.
The pair have worked on advertising campaigns for various companies and products according to their Web site.
The film first appeared on the Internet around the middle of January.