By on August 25, 2017

Martin Winterkorn, Image: Volkswagen AG [CC BY 3.0]/Wikimedia Commons

German media is reporting that former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn, who resigned shortly after the diesel emissions scandal erupted in September 2015, was informed about the company’s emissions cheating in late July of that year — a month before the automaker claims its executive board learned of the issue.

Several media outlets are reporting that a former senior VW quality officer told Winterkorn on July 27, 2015 that the company “cheated,” Reuters reports. (Read More…)

By on July 10, 2017

VW logo, Image: Volkswagen

Throughout the entirety of Volkswagen’s diesel emission scandal, the automaker has changed its tune on several occasions. After evading scrutiny from regulators for years, it finally admitted to installing illegal defeat devices designed to fool U.S. emission testing in late 2015. However, it assured the public that no high-ranking executive had complete knowledge of the misdeed until news of the scandal broke to outraged consumers.

Obviously, that was a lie. But no damning evidence came out indicating anyone above mid-level management had prior knowledge of the devices or any idea they would be so harmful to the company. But now a Volkswagen manager arrested earlier this year claims the automaker’s former chief executive and other top managers had been told the carmaker’s diesel emissions violations could cost up to $18.5 billion, well before the September 2015 announcement.  (Read More…)

By on May 11, 2017

Volkswagen VW Badge Emblem Logo

Volkswagen AG announced at its annual shareholders meeting this week that it will not be publishing the findings of an external investigation into its diesel emissions scandal conducted by the Jones Day law firm. The reason for VW’s secrecy is due to an underlying fear among management that the information held in the report would lead to further lawsuits and fines.

VW Chairman Hans Dieter Pötsch addressed the thousands of shareholders by first thanking the U.S. legal team for its hard work and then explaining there was no way in hell anyone outside of the company would benefit from its findings — tossing any promised transparency out the window. (Read More…)

By on March 17, 2017

piech

One of the preeminent figures within the European automotive industry is looking to get out of the family business. The former paterfamilias of Volkswagen AG, Ferdinand Piech, is looking to dump his stake of Porsche Automobil Holding SE and sever his remaining ties to VW. Piech’s shares would remain within the Porsche-Piech family — allowing them to keep control of Volkswagen Group — but Ferdinand would be out of the game as a majority stakeholder.

Piech has been at odds with his relatives after suggesting that Wolfgang Porsche and several other VW supervisory board members had been aware of Volkswagen’s emissions cheating much earlier than they claimed. Sources close to the family, whose members are apparently outraged, have stated that the Porsche-Piech gang sought to replace him at the table of Porsche Holdings ever since.  (Read More…)

By on February 8, 2017

tdiengine

Ferdinand Piëch, former chairman of Volkswagen and grandson of Beetle creator Ferdinand Porsche, is in hot water with his former company.

The ex-chairman resigned in April 2015 — five months before the diesel emissions scandal broke — after the company’s steering committee put his future to a vote. Piëch lost after his rival, then-CEO Martin Winterkorn, saw VW management rally to his side.

A suspiciously hostile divide existed between both men at the time, and recent comments by Piëch may explain why the two doomed executives became such bitter enemies. To say that VW’s supervisory board isn’t happy with his comments would be an understatement. (Read More…)

By on January 27, 2017

Martin Winterkorn, Image: Volkswagen AG [CC BY 3.0]/Wikimedia Commons

German prosecutors say their investigation into Volkswagen’s dirty dealings now includes the company’s former CEO, Martin Winterkorn.

The long-running probe into the diesel emissions scandal recently expanded from 21 suspects to 37, Reuters reports, placing Winterkorn solidly under the microscope. Winterkorn stepped down just days after the scandal went public in September 2015.

The former top boss recently emerged from the shadows to tell a German committee he knew nothing of the decade-long conspiracy under his watch, though prosecutors suspect he may have known more than that. (Read More…)

By on January 19, 2017

Martin Winterkorn, Image: Volkswagen AG [CC BY 3.0]/Wikimedia Commons

As far as anyone knows, former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn spent the last 16 months on a desert island.

After resigning his post in the turbulent days after the diesel emissions scandal went public, Winterkorn stayed out of the spotlight, shying from any public appearances. That is, until now. As indictments land in executives’ laps and top brass grow wary of leaving the country, Winterkorn showed his face to a parliamentary committee in Berlin. (Read More…)

By on January 10, 2017

VW logo

Volkswagen has negotiated a conclusive plan with the U.S. Department of Justice for a criminal and civil settlement worth $4.3 billion. While the company has confirmed the status of the settlement, it also stated that the full impact of the deal on its annual finances could not yet be established.

Germany’s largest carmaker said Tuesday that it anticipates a guilty plea in response to the criminal charges against it. It also expects to pay the full settlement over accusations that it intentionally modified over half of a million diesel vehicles with software designed to cheat U.S. emissions standards. (Read More…)

By on September 26, 2016

Martin Winterkorn, Image: Volkswagen AG [CC BY 3.0]/Wikimedia Commons

After German media reported his suspension last week, Audi announced today technical development boss Stefan Knirsch is stepping down and leaving the automaker.

The executive, who sat on Audi’s management board, found himself caught up in the investigation surrounding Volkswagen’s diesel emissions scandal. Meanwhile, a German newspaper claims that newly discovered documents show ex-Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn mislead U.S. authorities before the scandal broke. (Read More…)

By on August 30, 2016

Winterkorn, Piech, Piech - Picture courtesy Volkswagen

Former Volkswagen chairman Ferdinand Piëch resigned his position a month after questioning and failing to get answers from ex-CEO Martin Winterkorn about the company’s defeat devices, an internal probe revealed.

The finding from the investigation by U.S. law firm Jones Day was published in the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag, Bloomberg reports, shedding light on the power struggle that preceded the diesel emissions scandal. (Read More…)

By on June 20, 2016

Martin Winterkorn, Image: Volkswagen AG [CC BY 3.0]/Wikimedia Commons

The first suspect identified by German prosecutors in their probe of the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal is none other than the company’s former CEO.

Martin Winterkorn is under investigation for his role in the “defeat device” deception after the country’s financial watchdog demanded it, according to the New York Times(Read More…)

By on March 3, 2016

Martin Winterkorn, Image: Volkswagen AG [CC BY 3.0]/Wikimedia Commons

The first rumblings of an approaching crisis reached the highest levels of Volkswagen management in May 2014, but how much knowledge then-CEO Martin Winterkorn had of the looming diesel emissions scandal is still debatable.

It’s debatable because Winterkorn should have known about the initial study that raised red flags with environmental regulators — he was presented with a memo detailing the situation — but to this day Volkswagen can’t say if he even read it.

Later, the matter was discussed in the vicinity of Winterkorn … but Volkswagen doesn’t know if his ears picked up the dialogue.

(Read More…)

By on December 30, 2015

Winterkorn, sending the wrong signals. Picture courtesy focus.de

Where do you end up if you’re the former CEO of a company guilty of cheating diesel emissions tests, the fallout of which wipes out billions of dollars of value from said company? Business Insider’s “The 15 biggest career crashes of 2015” list, of course.

That, and Nissan prices the new Sentra, oil is still on a well-lubricated downhill slide, Jeep is now online in India, and more … after the break!

(Read More…)

By on November 29, 2015

Volkswagen Polo

German newspaper Bild Am Sonntag (via Reuters) reported Sunday that engineers within Volkswagen knew more than one year ago that its cars didn’t meet reported fuel consumption and even pulled a model from sale because of the deception.

Volkswagen admitted in October that 800,000 cars sold in Europe didn’t meet advertised fuel economy and that the company would pay more than $2.1 billion for the scandal.

According to Reuters, Volkswagen didn’t comment on the claim that executives knew about the cheating crisis before October, and said that the slow-selling Polo BlueMotion was pulled due to poor sales.

(Read More…)

By on November 13, 2015

Martin Winterkorn in Shanghai - Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt

Former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn announced Wednesday that he would resign his position as chairman of Audi’s supervisory board following revelations two months ago that those cars may have been illegally polluting, which threw the automaker into a tailspin.

Winterkorn stepped down from his role as chairman from Volkswagen in September after the scandal broke and resigned his position at Porsche Automobil Holding SE, VW’s largest shareholder, in October. Winterkorn may have stepped down from his position at Audi because what took him so long? (Read More…)

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