VW Likely To Pursue Legal Action Against Former Boss Over Dieselgate Scandal

By Volkswagen AG via Wikimedia Commons

Martin Winterkorn, the former boss of Volkswagen, is likely to face legal action from his own firm due to his part in the dieselgate scandal.

Recently, Winterkorn was charged by authorities from the United States of America over the emissions scandal of Volkswagen, or dieselgate, that were revealed in 2015.

VW was discovered to have defrauded emissions testing by programming its cars to activate emissions controls only during laboratory testing to enable them to meet the standards of the United States, when their cars actually emitted up to 40 times more nitrogen oxides when it comes to real-world driving.

Stephan Weil, a VW supervisory board member, talked to Sueddeutsche Zeitung, a German newspaper. He said that the company may seek some damages from its former chief executive. Weil represents the German state of Lower Saxony, a shareholder of VW, on the company’s board.

He stated: “Damages against former management board members are under serious consideration, I’m not just saying that.”

He added: “Once we know the outcome of investigations, we will make a decision.”

For years, VW claimed that only lower-level managers knew about the emissions cheating. However, authorities in the United States filed criminal charges against Winterkorn earlier this year.

Probes into the said scandal extended to Audi, another brand of VW, earlier this June. It comes after it was revealed that Rupert Stadler, its chief executive, was also being investigated by authorities in Germany for false advertising and suspected fraud because of his part in bringing cars that have the rigged software to the European market.

This week, Stadler was arrested. They cited concerns that he might attempt to interfere with the investigation. The arrest urged the supervisory board to suspend him and name Bram Schot to take over as the interim CEO of Audi.

When asked by Sueddeutsche why Stadler was suspended instead of being removed entirely, Weil said that many questions were still unanswered.