Currently reading: Former Volkswagen CEO charged with Dieselgate fraud
Martin Winterkorn has been charged by German prosecutors for his role in the diesel emissions testing scandal

Former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn has been charged with fraud by German prosecutors investigating the Dieselgate scandal, as have four other executives.

Volkswagen admitted in 2015 that it fitted hundreds of thousands of diesel-engined cars with ‘defeat devices’ that allowed them to beat US emissions tests. The German firm was then forced to recall hundreds of thousands of cars.

Prosecutors in the city of Braunschweig investigating the scandal claim Winterkorn violated competition laws by not disclosing the manipulation of diesel engines and failing to prohibit the installation of further engines featuring the illegal software.

They also claim Winterkorn approved a software update, at a cost of 23 million (£19.8 million), that was “useless” but served to “continue obscuring” the use of the defeat device systems.

If found guilty, reports suggest Winterkorn faces between six months and 10 years in prison. The 71-year-old German was also charged with fraud by American prosecutors last year.

The four other unnamed Volkswagen executives have all been charged with a variety of fraud charges relating to the scandal. The Braunschweig prosecutors say the indictment covers 692 pages, with an additional 300 file volumes featuring 75,000 pages, to explain the charges.

Prosecutors are continuing to investigate 36 more defendants and have yet to decide whether to charge them.

Read more

Winterkorn charged with fraud by US prosecutors

Volkswagen Dieselgate woes continue after court decision

Greed, lies and deception - the Volkswagen Dieselgate scandal laid bare

James Attwood

James Attwood, digital editor
Title: Acting magazine editor

James is Autocar's acting magazine editor. Having served in that role since June 2023, he is in charge of the day-to-day running of the world's oldest car magazine, and regularly interviews some of the biggest names in the industry to secure news and features, such as his world exclusive look into production of Volkswagen currywurst. Really.

Before first joining Autocar in 2017, James spent more than a decade in motorsport journalist, working on Autosport,, F1 Racing and Motorsport News, covering everything from club rallying to top-level international events. He also spent 18 months running Move Electric, Haymarket's e-mobility title, where he developed knowledge of the e-bike and e-scooter markets. 

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jer 15 April 2019

ah enough is enough it was not like the bankers

Who screwed our economy for this and the next generation through leaving us indebted. They gamed the rules thats all to try to meet onerous regulations. Lets move on and stop criminalising people.

fadyady 15 April 2019

VW's fall guy!

He was not the only one in the Volkswagen who knew what was going on. Yet the poor pleb is the only one who is the firing line. Sweet selective justice.