By on July 1, 2016

tdiengine

A former Volkswagen employee who claimed he was fired when the company discovered his plan to report it for obstruction of justice has dropped his lawsuit.

Daniel Donovan, an information manager working for Volkswagen’s data center in Auburn Hills, Michigan, withdrew the suit on June 9, according to the New York Times. Donovan had claimed he tried to prevent the destruction of documents related to the diesel emissions scandal.

The now-evaporated suit stated that Donovan began flagging data deletions made by a co-worker that started on September 18, 2015, the same day the scandal became public.

News of Donovan’s climbdown is only emerging now, and neither the former employee or the company will admit to why. Both parties refused to say whether a monetary deal was reached, but the timing is interesting.

Volkswagen, which still denies the claims made by Donovan, reached a settlement with U.S. lawmakers and owners of 2.0-liter TDI models earlier this week. The $15.3 billion it pledged to spend will get the automaker out of trouble with regulators, clients, 44 states and even the environment.

Registering an “11” on the suspicion meter is the fact that the statements obtained by the Times from Donovan’s lawyer and Volkswagen are spitting images of each other.

“(Donovan) has now voluntarily dismissed the complaint and has agreed to cooperate fully with the company’s internal investigations,” the letters read. “The matter has been resolved amicably to the satisfaction of all of the parties.”

It sounds like Volkswagen was very eager to put the diesel scandal behind it, and avoid a lengthy, headline-generating trial. The trouble isn’t over for the company, though. Besides having to fix or buy back the 11 million diesel vehicles involved in the scandal, not to mention the likelihood of further fines and lawsuits, the company’s brand chief and ex-CEO are under investigation by German prosecutors.

It isn’t known whether the Donovan case is related to reports that a Volkswagen manager implicitly told employees to delete defeat device evidence in August 2015, shortly before the scandal became public.

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59 Comments on “Would-Be Volkswagen Whistleblower Suddenly Drops Lawsuit...”


  • avatar

    Between VW and Hillary Clinton the Recycle Bin has never been the same.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Why hasn’t Trump released his tax returns? Or asked more precisely, what is Trump hiding?

      • 0 avatar

        I don’t give a godddammnn about Trump’s tax returns.

        He is a business owner.

        He creates jobs for AMERICANS.

        He makes Trump Steaks.

        I’m more interested in watching Crooked Hillary’s campaign annihilated.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          Most of the jobs Trump “creates” seem to go to immigrants and Chinese, from what I can see.

          81% my friend. 81%

          You don’t care about Trump’s tax returns, because you’re afraid of what you’ll find. Like that he isn’t nearly as rich as he claims, that he doesn’t give to charity like he claims, and that he makes illegal payoffs to foster his business.

          • 0 avatar

            Vogo

            And How many NON-TAX PAYER FUNDED JOBS DOES HILLARY CREATE?

            If Trump even employed just 1000 Americans…That’s more than Crooked Hillary.

            You should just stop Arguing.

            Don’t you understand that I represent Black Conservatism?

            I’m BLACK TRUMP.

            My Power is EVERYTHING and DEFEAT is absurd.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            You’re going to have to decide between being a “black conservative” and a Trump supporter.

            Trump is not a conservative. He’s a populist. And a racist populist at that. Don’t trust me on that, ask the Republican Speaker of the House. Ask the former Republican Presidents.

            He’s a huckster and a phony, and thankfully, our nation is starting to figure that out, which is why he is so far behind in most polls.

          • 0 avatar
            cartunez

            He can’t release his tax records as he is being sued currently. Why did Clinton meet with the AG privately? Silly to get worked up about any of this political nonsense but damn why be so one sided.

        • 0 avatar
          Piston Slap Yo Mama

          BTSR: none of your frothy blather here has anything to do with the posted article. I’m intensely saddened that the implementation of comment moderation on TTAC means, apparently, nothing.
          Good luck with your Page Refreshing and consistently contributing the first worthless comment, you’ve a knack for it. And while you think it’s that I disagree with your politics, I’m disgusted with political proselytizing of any stripe in an automotive forum. That you have no real insights on the topics presented I can’t control, but off-topic posturing is something that should merit deletion.
          Kyree and Adam, I’m looking at you.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            Marshall Dillon!

            Are you gonna do somethin’ about them sinners singin’ and dancin’ and carryin’ on or ain’tcha?!

          • 0 avatar
            james2k

            PSYM,

            Thank you for saying what so many of us are thinking. I used to enjoy reading the comments here until a few mean spirited folks start poisoning the well. I miss the old TTAC. Moderators, you know what to do. If you don’t, I guess it’s time to move on.

          • 0 avatar
            Erikstrawn

            I agree. When someone uses a name that is a web address that earns them money, and they consistently make the first comment to every article that is an obvious effort at trolling, that violates the terms you have set for this website, and it derails sincere automotive discourse, which is what I like about this site. I quit reading Jalopnik because it became to trashy, and I don’t want TTAC to follow suit.

        • 0 avatar
          APaGttH

          Trump steaks has existed for years. Look it up.

        • 0 avatar
          johnny ro

          Be prepared to lose everything if you do business with Trump.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Why is the Attorney General meeting with the spouse of a presidential candidate on the Phoenix airport tarmac with all press banned when she is being investigated for breaking federal law and endangering national security?

        • 0 avatar

          28 Cars Later

          I’d give you a + 10 TRILLION for your comment but the out-of control Welfare State already did that.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          The front page of the NYT: “Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch will accept whatever prosecutors and the F.B.I. director decide on charges related to Hillary Clinton’s email server.”

          Here’s a question: Why did house Republicans spend 2 years and $7 Million investigating Benghazi, in what they admitted was a politically motivated smear campaign, and still come up with nothing whatsoever on Hillary?

          Wait. An out of control welfare state gave 28CL $10 trillion? Can I have a loan, buddy?

          • 0 avatar

            GOOD – she was EXPOSED AS A CROOK.

            I can’t wait to see the Obama Administration and Crooked Hillary out.

            THANK GOD for the 22nd Amendment.

            I fear the IDIOTS in this country would re-elect Obama if they could.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Deeper game suggests by having the airport meeting and leaking it to the press, forces Lynch to recuse herself:

            “Calls for Lynch to step aside — which had already been simmering for months — appeared primed to boil over Thursday following the attorney general’s unscheduled, private meeting with Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton.

            “Considering the ongoing criminal investigation of Hillary Clinton, this secret meeting between the Attorney General and Bill Clinton shows an astounding lack of judgment by Loretta Lynch,” House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) said in a statement on Thursday calling for Lynch to recuse herself.”

            http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/286202-lynch-pressured-to-recuse-herself-after-clinton-tarmac-meeting

            HRC has been a major criminal for four decades and is clearly guilty in violating some federal statutes in the email case. Not indicting her is clear indication of the failure of the rule of law. If Lynch was actually to uphold the rule of law sabotaging her with a surprise impromptu meeting, which some reports indicate was initiated by Bill Clinton literally walking up to her plane in an abuse of his power as a former president, put pressure on her to recuse herself or possibly even resign as some have called for in this case. This move buys time for the guilty HRC and possibly sets up a situation where Lynch’s replacement investigator is a Clinton plant.

            Regardless of who ultimately is in the investigation, HRC is clearly guilty and needs to head to trial as per the justice system. If this does not happen -regardless if a trial acquits her- the US has achieved full banana republic status.

        • 0 avatar
          brettc

          Because Hillary and Bill are both super greasy and seem to think nothing will ever happen to either one of them. (I lean progressive and think she’s a horrible choice)

          • 0 avatar
            threeer

            I’ll allow myself one “off topic” response (as this post is supposed to be about the VW whistleblower, after all). If anybody thinks that Clinton will face any substantial repercussions for any of her actions, you are sadly mistaken. Whether or not rules and laws were broken will matter not one iota. Welcome to the banana republic.

            And now back to our regularly scheduled programming. It is interesting that the suit was dropped so suddenly. One has to wonder what was offered to do so. Meanwhile, my boss drives an affected Passat and is going back and forth on what to do with his car. He loves it, but is also pragmatic and intelligent enough to comprehend that it might not be worth it to keep it. It will be interesting to see what the “take” rate is for the sell back, and if possible, to see what cars people gravitate towards as a replacement for their devalued diesels.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        The only people who need to see his tax returns work at the IRS.

        Release of them for media scrutiny is voluntary. I’d say he’s hiding from the inevitable media bias and criticism of his income flow, such as off-shore money and charitable donations.

        Why should he subject himself to that circus?

        • 0 avatar

          “The only people who need to see his tax returns work at the IRS.”

          STUPID LIBERALS don’t understand that.

          Keep in mind, Liberals in Hollywood have been TRAINING US to HATE the White corporate Businessman.

          Notice they aren’t attacking Jordan, Oprah, Johnson or any minority tax returns.

          These people SICKEN ME.

          I can’t REST until I see them purged.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            I guess Mitt Romney and most of the Republican leadership are stupid liberals, because they are the ones criticizing Trump for not releasing his tax returns, as every presidential candidate has done for generations.

            Except one.

          • 0 avatar
            bunkie

            “I can’t REST until I see them purged.”

            This comment crosses the line. I’m sure it can be argued that BTSR means “voted out of office”, but since “purged” has a long sad history of meaning “a bullet to the back of the head”, it goes *way* too far.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Many gun owners have this problem. They claim it’s a ‘hobby’, but they just can’t help themselves from using intimidation to get their way.

        • 0 avatar
          bunkie

          He’s free to withhold his tax returns, I’m free to conclude that “objects in mirror are smaller than they appear”.

    • 0 avatar
      Piston Slap Yo Mama

      Moderators: If you give an inch for trolls to drag American politics into the comment threads when not germane this early on then you’ve lost the war. Figure out where you’ll draw the line and stick to it.
      Please.

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        “Nudnik” is a great word that anyone can share! Thanks, Yiddish!

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          He’s kvelling, the pischer.

          • 0 avatar

            It would be the little pischer’s parents who would be kvelling, not the pischer.

            Interesting linguistic note. In the vernacular Yiddish, it’s polite to wish someone “nachas” from their children, as though the word is a synonym for “pride”. In fact it comes from the Hebrew “nachat”, which means rest or repose. When you wish someone nachas from their kids, you’re actually wishing them less aggravation.

            Another interesting note is that while the secular Yiddishists tried to create a Yiddish culture more or less void of Judaism, they failed, while the language itself has survived because the religious yeshiva world still uses it as a language of instruction. My son, my only son, whom I love, Moshe, knows a lot more Yiddish than I do. My mom is a native Yiddish speaker, she didn’t learn English until she started kindergarten. My dad learned it to better converse with his in-laws, but my parents proceeded to use it as a language to hide secrets from us at the dinner table.

            True story. When my oldest was 7, her mother and I switched to Hebrew for discretionary purposes. Sarah kind of puffed up and said, “I can understand what you’re saying.” I told her, “We’re very proud of you. Now your mom and I will switch to English that you won’t understand,” and we did.

          • 0 avatar
            Piston Slap Yo Mama

            He should be a mensch like Ronnie but instead he’s a schlemiel.

  • avatar

    What’s German for “lying, corrupt crooks”?

    I’m sure it’s several words crushed together, like “piggenweaselvolk” or something.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Perhaps Mr Donovan is about to receive double compensation for his TDI.

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    If there was a whistleblower settlement as a part of the overall VW-DOJ deal, then it needs to be public ally transparent.

    Who’s up for a FOIA request?

  • avatar
    MWolf

    *sigh* Both of the Presidential front runners are shady, as are most politicians. I’m here for cars.

    I highly doubt this is the last VW will hear about this, as I feel they may have made some sort of threat, or possibly dumped a LOT of hush money on that guy. I would bet that down the line, we start to hear more from people “close to the source” that choose to remain “anonymous”.

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    “The matter has been resolved amicably to the satisfaction of all of the parties.”

    He was paid to settle the suit out of court. This is the same language that my last employer put in the settlement when I sued them in federal court. They were happy to settle given they didn[t have a legal leg to stand on. I too am prohibited from going into details of the settlement, but this statement looks like standard legal boiler plate language.

  • avatar
    NickS

    Mark, Kyree, Adam: ttac is fast approaching the point of being yet another right wing nut troll-fest, or whatever freak show would have it. Trump v. Hilary needs to be banned pronto. Same for using every article to go off on a political agenda of climate change denial, or arguing about the size of govt. Some of us younger folks have basic education and can keep a healthy scepticism on everything but don’t exactly jump the shark with cynicism, or reduce everything in life to a tired, old and staid rhetoric. I apologize in advance if I seem ungrateful for the work you do. But I hope you see a point in what I am saying. Ttac needs to host car commentary and do that well, first and foremost. If you let everyone bloviate into a predictable agenda of wedge politics you will see this go down. There are tons of sites that disabled comments or went down completely. /rant

  • avatar
    Piston Slap Yo Mama

    Moderators Kyree, Adam and Mark Stevenson: industry insiders look at TTAC to inform themselves on the fickle whims of the public or to gauge what the current climate is on various topics. They look to the comments section as well, it’s a reflection of the site’s health and status. Sometimes insights can be gleaned from the commentariat that otherwise would not appear even in well researched articles – see NGNOM’s comment on “NHTSA Investigating Tesla Model S Following Fatal ‘Autopilot’ Crash” for an OUTSTANDING example of expert commentary that elevates a site above its peers.
    Commentary that is on-topic and insightful is the goal. A rabble of political dissension is not. It’s actually a train wreck and a black eye for your site’s professionalism. If you think this trend will magically dissipate come election day Nov 8th 2016, it won’t.
    Do. Something.

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      “industry insiders look at TTAC to inform themselves on the fickle whims of the public or to gauge what the current climate is on various topics”

      I call horse feathers. If that were true we’d have larger greenhouses and column shifters back by now. And no more dubs.

  • avatar
    mtmmo

    Very disappointing to see the covert racism being conducted against BTSR by Piston Slap and Vogo. I’m as liberal as they come (lifelong Democrat) and maybe agree with BTSR a 1/3 of the time but I would never suggest silencing him or anyone else just because they hold a different opinion. I’ve seen this Leftist-esk mentality all too often in my own party and it’s rooted in racism. There’s just something about a Black Conservative that threatens White Leftists. The response is always the same: We must silence him/her because me the White Leftist is far superior in intellect so how dare a person of color have a conservative/difference of opinion. TTAC has a great diverse board because of folks like BTSR and it should stay that way. The others (you know who you are) need to drop your covert white leftist privilege.

    • 0 avatar
      Piston Slap Yo Mama

      mtmmo: Bravo and a golf-clap for pulling the racism card. That was amateur dissembling on your part, you can do better. Funny thing is, I’m not white & the joke’s on you.

      Your calumny against me is a stellar example of how partisan politics poison the comments. I’ve stated over and over NO POLITICS – irrespective of your point of view *when not germane to the post*. If the post was political, then have at it – but it’s farcical to turn a piece on VW’s whistleblower dropping his lawsuit into a rant for either party. You must be blind to not notice that BTSR has a political axe to continually, loudly grind – the comment version of all the world looking like a nail when BTSR’s only tool is a hammer.

      That I dignified your comment with a reply is tragic.

      • 0 avatar
        mtmmo

        Your attitude of patronizing superiority further proves what I stated is accurate and true. To demand that Kyree act on your barking commands only serves as more evidence.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          I haven’t read BTSR’s comments since he aptly demonstrated his dimwittedness when he posted under the handle “Flashpoint.” He doesn’t offend me because (a) I’m not easily offended and (b) I scroll past everything that he writes and never read a word of it.

          But even then, it is obvious that he is out of control and trying to take over this website. I don’t care one whit about his opinions, but I sure as hell don’t want him running this joint as he would obviously like to do.

          Why the management puts up with the BS, including the ALL CAPS nonsense that is the internet equivalent of shouting and screaming, I don’t know. For all of the editorials that rant and rave about how beta males are ruining the world, they sure aren’t behaving like alphas when they allow some random dude to crap all over this website.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            Some people and their pets….

            But I think this one belongs to a guy who only visits every few days.

        • 0 avatar
          Piston Slap Yo Mama

          mtmmo: you’re quite the pillock if my posts on the topic of NO POLITICS strikes you as ‘patronizing superiority’. I couldn’t be clearer: off-topic political vitriol is the death of intelligent comments.

          If you truly enjoy being dutch-ovened by BTSR’s political gas, might I suggest Breitbart.com or the Huffington Post – places that specialize in politics?

          • 0 avatar
            mtmmo

            “…vitriol is the death of intelligent comments” segways into “dutch-ovened”. See that’s the thing with covert racism, it’s rarely attached to anyone of intelligence. Keep digging that grave.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            It’s “segues.”

    • 0 avatar
      NickS

      @mtmmo – That’s horsefeathers. You have ttac confused with a site dedicated to giving everyone a mike to spout their beliefs on anything and everything. If ttac wants to allow that, they might as well allow religious speech, and opinion on all sorts of wedge issues (and will promptly loose many very astute commentators here).

      I can only speak for myself, but if I find someone’s comments obnoxious absent any identifying information, they will still be obnoxious after their author voluntarily discloses their race, etc. How much more tedious does the race baiting have to get?

      I care zero about whether you or anyone is liberal or conservative, gay or straight, man or woman, Muslim or Buddhist … my reaction to these disclosures is always the same.

      I am all for not silencing anyone about their opinions on cars. That’s all. About their opinions on bathroom use, politicians and parties, … silence them away!

      Gut check: if your comment contains the words “liberal/conservative,” “pink/brown,” “leftist” etc, you are definitely not commenting on cars and must go find a more appropriate forum. Some people have eloquently linked cars and politics here without a schoolyard mentality.

      If you think there is racism, report it to ttac and let them deal with it.

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