Audi Tech Boss Leaves Company as Heat Rises on Ex-VW CEO Winterkorn

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
audi tech boss leaves company as heat rises on ex vw ceo winterkorn

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.

Last week, Bild am Sonntag reported that investigators from the U.S. law firm Jones Day, tasked with probing the automaker’s emissions cheating, Bloomberg, Bild has found documents approved by Winterkorn that paint an incomplete picture of the company’s deception for U.S. investigators. The signed documents, reportedly dated July 28 of last year, contain a plan to release only some of the information requested of the company. At a August 5, 2016 meeting with U.S. regulators, VW engineers admitted the engines weren’t compliant, and said they were working to fix them.

German prosecutors launched an investigation into Winterkorn last June. They aim to find out if the top executive waited too long to reveal the automaker was under investigation. A number of investor lawsuits allege the company and its management kept a lid on information that would have prevented financial losses to shareholders.

German media reported last month that former chairman Ferdinand Piëch resigned after failing to get answers from Winterkorn about the rigged engines. Piëch left the company in April 2015 after questioning Winterkorn a month earlier. Evidence has shown Winterkorn may have had knowledge of the devices as early as May of 2014.

[Image: Volkswagen AG/ Wikimedia Commons]

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  • Jthorner Jthorner on Sep 28, 2016

    Of course most, if not all, of the top bosses were aware of and in on this scam. I hope VW claws back every bonus they "earned" since the cheating started. We now know that those earnings were built on a big lie.

  • Voyager Voyager on Sep 29, 2016

    Let's see... A company making money at the expense of public health and the living environment, deliberately lying about it towards authorities, and a "Ich habe es nicht gewusst" CEO that was paid around 65 million euro when he left the company. Authorities, shareholders, the public and of course VW owners in the U.S. have all reason to demand extradition of this super villain. At least start procedures for some sort of claw back arrangement, in which all bonuses have to be paid back over the years in which the fraudulent software was used.

  • S J I’m here to say I don’t know about H #, but in German b flat is sometimes called “H”.Thats why composers (Liszt IIRC) could compose a theme and variations on B A C H.b flat sharp would be C, so there wouldn’t be a point.
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