Handelsblatt reports prosecutors have discovered phone recordings of Volkswagen Group execs talking about Dieselgate
20 March 2019

German prosecutors investigating the Volkswagen Dieselgate case have unearthed recordings of private phone conversations about the scandal between former Volkswagen Group engine boss Wolfgang Hatz and other high-ranking managers, according to the Handelsblatt newspaper.

The recordings were made by Hatz’s wife over a hands-free car speaker, according to Handelsblatt’s sources. Prosecutors discovered them as an attachment to an email in a mobile phone belonging to her.

They are said to include recordings between Hatz, who also served as Porsche research and development boss, and figures including former Volkswagen Group chairman Matthias Müller, current Porsche chairman Oliver Blume and Michael Steiner, who was initially selected by the Group to lead an investigation into Dieselgate.

In one recording, Hatz is claimed to have asked Müller how his particular situation as part of the diesel emissions affair was likely to continue. Müller reportedly answered: “I don’t want to deceive you; I can’t do anything against the decision of the Volkswagen supervisory board.”

Hatz replied by denying involvement with what he described as “cheat software”, suggesting it was “the crap of the parent company”. Müller is then reported to have replied: “I'm really trying to get you out… but as soon as my name appears somewhere, then it will be difficult. Keep your nerve.”

During a recording of a conversation with Blume, Hatz is claimed to regularly lay blame for the inclusion of cheat software in diesel engines with the Volkswagen Group. He is also reported as saying the cheat software used by Audi was the result of “unhappy parameters” developed by “idiots”.

Hatz is claimed to have exchanged engineering details with former Porsche research and development boss Steiner, who apparently said in relation to the US Environmental Protection Agency: “We haven’t tried to fool them a second time.”

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Maserati Levante S GranLusso 2019 road test review - hero front
    24 May 2019
    Car review
    Is this Ferrari-engined Levante the performance SUV it always should have...
  • Bentley Continental GT Convertible 2019 UK first drive review - hero front
    24 May 2019
    First Drive
    New Conti Convertible has all the many advantages of a new platform, seen...
  • Audi SQ5 2019 first drive review - hero front
    22 May 2019
    First Drive
    High-performance soft-roader adopts new sporty V6 diesel mild-hybrid power,...

Hatz was arrested in Germany in September 2017 on suspicion of harbouring knowledge of the events leading to the decision to install illegal emissions manipulation software in various diesel engines used by the Volkswagen Group. He was released on bail in June 2018. 

Read more

Dieselgate: the scandal laid bare

Former Volkswagen engine boss Wolfgang Hatz released from jail

Join the debate

Comments
10

20 March 2019

I guess it is turning out that Mathias Muller isn't so inoocent as he claims...but then Martin Winterkorn (and the whole VW leadership) initially claimed they knew nothing too...but hell with dieselgate - the VW group is making more money than ever before...business is better than ever....its strange times we are living in...

3 May 2019

And still they buy from this corrupt, lying   and cheating company.  Especially as they are way way down the reliability charts of all respected sources. I repeat why !!. plus Audi are in there too

What a shamful lot. 

20 March 2019
Arbeit Macht Frei (work sets you free)

20 March 2019
fadyady wrote:

Arbeit Macht Frei (work sets you free)

 

Either you know nothing of mid 20th century European history and write that comment in ignorance, or you are something unmentionable, who has deliberately used this phrase. If and only if you are anything approaching a decent human being, you will withdraw your post and apologise.

 

Care to choose which of the above you are?.

21 March 2019
You have taken it all wrong. I had not meant that comment to hurt anyone's feelings. There is a connection between the person who made that motto in the first half of the 20th century and the car company in question and Herbert Diess' recent gaffe. Take it easy.

20 March 2019

I think that quote was from a VW executive this week. He got pelters for it.

20 March 2019
JoCoLo wrote:

I think that quote was from a VW executive this week. He got pelters for it.

 

And rightly so. Got off very lightly then. Only takes seconds to "google it", after all, it had to be seen/heard somewhere, for it to be repeated here and there is no context which would excuse its use, other than historical...so no being fair on this occasion...it needs to be gone.

21 March 2019
This article very quickly fell off the front page of the web site...

21 March 2019

...in a meeting, I mentioned the difficult in passing the emissions legislation.  Various senior engineers smirked a bit and said 'that wouldn't be a problem'.  The significance of their comments was lost on me at the time.

IMHO:

a) the VAG group is rotten through-and-through;

b) many, many people across that organisation knew about, and were complicit in, the fraud;

c) here should be a lot more VAG-group employees and former employees serving time.

5 April 2019

Nice article, thanks for your job! 192.168.1.1

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Maserati Levante S GranLusso 2019 road test review - hero front
    24 May 2019
    Car review
    Is this Ferrari-engined Levante the performance SUV it always should have...
  • Bentley Continental GT Convertible 2019 UK first drive review - hero front
    24 May 2019
    First Drive
    New Conti Convertible has all the many advantages of a new platform, seen...
  • Audi SQ5 2019 first drive review - hero front
    22 May 2019
    First Drive
    High-performance soft-roader adopts new sporty V6 diesel mild-hybrid power,...