Judge Accuses Former VW Boss of Lying, New Class-action Suit in the Works

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
judge accuses former vw boss of lying new class action suit in the works

A judge hearing a case brought by investors against Volkswagen has deemed its former corporate head, Martin Winterkorn, was too slow in addressing the emissions test cheating that steered the automotive giant into colossal U.S. fines. It’s an early blow against the German company in a suit seeking $10.6 billion in damages for stock losses suffered when the scandal finally became public.

“Anyone acting in good faith would have followed up on this information,” Judge Christian Jaede of the ex-CEO during the second day of hearings held at the Braunschweig higher regional court. “This appears not to have happened.”

According to Reuters, Jaede accused Winterkorn of “dragging his feet” after a top-level management meeting discussed how to best deal with U.S. regulators who were threatening to ban VW because of excessive pollution levels. That gathering occurred roughly two months before the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a notice of violation in September of 2015 and the scandal became public.

The judge continued by saying it was unclear why Volkswagen neglected to put out a statement after finding that engine software on numerous diesel models had been manipulated to circumvent emission testing, adding that it was reasonable to assume Winterkorn knew about the emissions cheating far earlier than claimed.

Thomas Liebscher, a lawyer for VW, said it would be unfair to assume the chief executive knew how the company’s engine management software worked. Volkswagen’s official defense is that no high-ranking official had any knowledge of the defeat devices prior to the company’s first official announcement. However, years of investigative efforts have placed those claims on some rather shaky ground.

Winterkorn resigned shortly after the scandal broke. Last year, he told German lawmakers he learned of VW’s illegal activities at roughly the same time the organization publicly admitted to them. He currently faces conspiracy charges in the United States but is in no danger of being extradited from Germany to stand trial there.

Meanwhile, a consumer rights group said it will file a class-action lawsuit against Volkswagen on Wednesday over the manipulation of emissions software. It’s seeking compensation for up to 2 million owners of the affected diesel models.

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  • Vehic1 Vehic1 on Sep 11, 2018

    I can see and smell more unburned diesel coming from a single tractor-trailer, when a good mile behind them on the interstate - than a huge number of little Golf diesels. But, by God, some people won't be happy until VW pays all of the Earth's financial reserves as fines; I'm sure they had dreamed of VW going bankrupt, and were disappointed when that didn't happen.

    • Rocket Rocket on Sep 11, 2018

      Is the truck legal? Did the truck manufacturer intentionally defraud the owner? Whether it's "fair" that big rigs have a different set of standards really isn't the point. VW knew the rules, and intentionally broke them to gain an advantage in the marketplace.

  • Thegamper Thegamper on Sep 12, 2018

    I can buy that for most of the time frame in question that top brass did not know, or it is plausible that they did not know about the cheating. I'm sure at some point though engineers ran it up the flag pole to at least some of the execs. What I don't buy is that as soon as wind of the scandal was approaching, top brass didn't get a head's up. "Ummmmm, yeah, soooooo, better get out an umbrella because there is a massive $hitstorm in the forecast." Something to that effect, but well ahead of the EPA announcing the cheating.

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  • Nrd515 Usually for me it's been Arby's for pretty much forever, except when the one near my house dosed me with food poisoning twice in about a year. Both times were horrible, but the second time was just so terrible it's up near the top of my medical horror stories, and I have a few of those. Obviously, I never went to that one again. I'm still pissed at Arby's for dropping Potato Cakes, and Culver's is truly better anyway. It will be Arby's fish for my "cheat day", when I eat what I want. No tartar sauce and no lettuce on mine, please. And if I get a fish and a French Dip & Swiss? Keep the Swiss, and the dip, too salty. Just the meat and the bread for me, thanks. The odds are about 25% that they will screw one or both of them up and I will have to drive through again to get replacement sandwiches. Culver's seems to get my order right many times in a row, but if I hurry and don't check my order, that's when it's screwed up and garbage to me. My best friend lives on Starbucks coffee. I don't understand coffee's appeal at all. Both my sister and I hate anything it's in. It's like green peppers, they ruin everything they touch. About the only things I hate more than coffee are most condiments, ranked from most hated to..who cares..[list=1][*]Tartar sauce. Just thinking about it makes me smell it in my head. A nod to Ranch here too. Disgusting. [/*][*]Mayo. JEEEEZUS! WTF?[/*][*]Ketchup. Sweet puke tasting sludge. On my fries? Salt. [/*][*]Mustard. Yikes. Brown, yellow, whatever, it's just awful.[/*][*]Pickles. Just ruin it from the pickle juice. No. [/*][*]Horsey, Secret, whatever sauce. Gross. [/*][*]American Cheese. American Sleeze. Any cheese, I don't want it.[/*][*]Shredded lettuce. I don't hate it, but it's warm and what's the point?[/*][*]Raw onion. Totally OK, but not something I really want. Grilled onions is a whole nother thing, I WANT those on a burger.[/*][*]Any of that "juice" that Subway and other sandwich places want to put on. NO, HELL NO! Actually, move this up to #5. [/*][/list=1]
  • SPPPP It seems like a really nice car that's just still trying to find its customer.
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