By on September 10, 2020

Former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn is one of five former Volkswagen executives who will be standing trial in a German court over their actions in the diesel emissions cheating scandal.

The five were charged in 2019 for using defeat devices to cheat emissions tests, but a court has modified the charges so that now the five could be charged as a criminal gang.

“The fraud charges concern 9 million vehicles sold in Europe and the U.S.,” the court said in a statement. “Buyers may have lost 100 million euros.”

The court also said that since the pollution levels of Volkswagen vehicles were higher than thought, they should’ve been hit with higher taxes, and because of that, the former execs should also face charges of tax evasion and false advertising.

A few other charges against Winterkorn, including breach of trust, were dropped.

The court’s judges did indicate to prosecutors that they were likely to reject demands to have the executives’ bonuses seized.

An attorney representing Winterkorn denied the charges. Volkswagen, for its part, reminds observers that it has new processes in place, it’s no longer in the prosecutorial crosshairs, and that said, the former execs are innocent until proven guilty.

The case is allowed to proceed, but a trial date is unclear.

[Image: Volkswagen]

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7 Comments on “Martin Winterkorn, Other Ex-VW Execs Face the Music in Germany...”

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Martin Winterkorn: *gang leader*

    “I wish that boy would have done something useful with his life.”

    I guess all the raids produced some pretty strong evidence.

    In other news, the German auto press slammed the new ID.3 for various quality and paint issues.

    • 0 avatar

      And that supposed to be Tesla killer, Paint issues.

    • 0 avatar

      Strong evidence or not, every automaker pushes the envelope to see how much they can get away with. Sometimes what they get away with actually kills people – the examples are too numerous to mention here.

      So VW got caught. Other automakers worldwide haven’t been caught (yet).

      VW will pay a fine and promise never to do evil things to the public again.

      And all’s well again.

      This is a racket, and the buying public is the dupe.

      • 0 avatar

        As I understand he didn’t exactly tell them to cheat, what he did was say “make it happen or you’re fired” type thing, so they made it happen alright lol. Rule by hammer fist CEO, same guys that told Bob Lutz if they wanted better panel gaps at Chrysler to just start firing people until they got it right.

        • 0 avatar

          Agreed, he didn’t tell them to cheat. And it was implied that he wanted it to happen.

          IMO, all automakers try to get away with as much as they can, until they get caught.

          Who can forget some of the brilliant cost-saving measures GM has taken over the last 100+ years? Best alternative is to stay as far away from buying GM as one can.

          Not to mention Ford. When my #2 son was a State cop his Cruiser was a Crown Vic and he was the first in his Barracks to know that in the case of a rear end collision the fuel tank of his Cruiser could be punctured.

          I told him that based on a conversation that the B&B had on this very ttac site.

  • avatar

    I’m sure he was whipped into a maniacal frenzy every time year-end bonuses came out. The closest thing we have to a real-life malevolent Batman villain.

  • avatar

    When do we prosecute the regulators for ineffective regulationalityization?

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