Home / Motor/ VW CEO told about emissions software months before scandal: Der Spiegel

VW CEO told about emissions software months before scandal: Der Spiegel


Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Tuesday, 21 August 2018 00:00

Facebook

FRANKFURT (Reuters): Volkswagen Chief Executive Herbert Diess was told about the existence of cheating software in cars two months before regulators blew the whistle on a multi-billion exhaust emissions scandal, German magazine Der Spiegel said.

Der Spiegel’s story, based on recently unsealed documents from the Braunschweig prosecutor’s office, raises questions about whether VW informed investors in a timely manner about the scope of a scandal which it said has cost it more than $ 27 billion in penalties and fines.

Volkswagen’s senior management, which has denied wrongdoing, is being investigated by prosecutors in Braunschweig, near where Volkswagen is headquartered, to see whether the company violated disclosure rules.

US regulators exposed VW’s cheating on 18 September 2015.

Responding to the magazine report, the carmaker reiterated on Saturday that the management board had not violated its disclosure duties and had not informed investors earlier because they had failed to grasp the scope of the potential fines and penalties.

Citing documents unsealed by the Braunschweig prosecutor’s office, Der Spiegel said Diess was present at a meeting on 27 July 2015 when senior engineers and executives discussed how to deal with US regulators, who were threatening to ban VW cars because of excessive pollution levels. Diess, who was VW’s brand chief at the time, became chief executive of Volkswagen Group in April this year. Volkswagen also owns the Scania, Skoda, Audi, Porsche, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini and Ducati brands.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had found unusually high pollution levels in VW’s vehicles and was threatening to withhold road certification for new cars until VW explained why pollution levels were too high.

Diess, who had defected from BMW to become head of the VW brand on 1 July 2015, joined the 27 July meeting with Volkswagen’s then Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn to discuss how to convince regulators that VW’s cars could be sold, a VW defence document filed with a court in Braunschweig in February showed.

On Saturday, Volkswagen said both Winterkorn and Diess declined to comment given the ongoing proceedings.

Following this meeting, Winterkorn asked Diess whether BMW too had installed “defeat devices” in its cars, Der Spiegel said.

In the United States, legal engine management software is described as an “auxiliary emissions device” while the term “defeat device” is used to describe only illegal software.

Volkswagen said on Saturday: “The contents of the discussion, where Martin Winterkorn and Herbert Diess were present, cannot be fully reconstructed because the recollections of the people who were present partially deviate.”

Volkswagen further said it was the task of authorities and courts to evaluate the conflicting statements and to assess whether individual witnesses were credible.


Share This Article

Facebook Twitter


DISCLAIMER:

1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.

COMMENTS

Today's Columnists

“Sri Lanka’s future lies in producing exportable manufactured goods”: Dr. Howard Nicholas

Monday, 22 July 2019

Drawing lessons from Vietnam’s experiences The Sri Lanka-born economist attached to The Hague based Institute of Social Studies – Dr. Howard Nicholas – addressing a packed audience consisting of the alumni of the Postgraduate Institute of Manag


We should sell our water

Monday, 22 July 2019

When you read the title of this article, you will probably feel disgusted with me as selling our water has been a controversial topic since a long time ago. By the way, I am talking about virtual water trade and you would be surprised to know that we


A voice of compassion amid howls of zealotry

Monday, 22 July 2019

The unrestrained freedom extended by the current regime to a bunch of saffron-clad street vendors of Sinhala Buddhist zealotry is pushing Sri Lanka once again into a cauldron of ethnic and religious convulsion. The nationwide spread and virulence of


Roger Beteille: The man who reinvented the commercial airliner

Monday, 22 July 2019

The visionary engineer, pilot and manager who led Airbus to some its most significant decisions, passed away last month. Beteille, who was the head of French aircraft manufacturer Sud Aviation’s flight testing section, was made technical director


Columnists More