German prosecutor's office has filed charges against a number of current and former Volkswagen executives
James Attwood, digital editor
24 September 2019

Volkswagen Group boss Herbert Diess is among a number of current and former executives from the firm who have been charged with stock market manipulation in relation to Dieselgate by German prosecutors.

The prosecutor’s office in Braunschweig has filed criminal charges against Diess, chairman Hans Dieter Pötsch and former CEO Martin Winterkorn. They have been charged with intentionally failing to inform investors in time about the financial impact of the scandal. By doing so, they improperly influenced the share price of the company. The charges follow an investigation by BaFin, Germany’s independent financial regulatory authority.

Lawyers for Diess told the Reuters news agency that he will keep his role as Volkswagen's CEO and defend himself with “all legal means”. They said that Diess joined the firm only in July 2015, and it was therefore not possible for him to foresee that the diesel issues would have financial consequences that would affect capital markets.

Winterkorn was Volkswagen's CEO when the scandal broke and resigned soon after. He has since claimed that he wasn't informed of diesel emission manipulation measures any earlier than Volkswagen has officially admitted.

However, documents from a meeting attended by Diess, tsch and Winterkorn on 27 July 2015 are alleged to prove the three discussed when to inform US authorities about the diesel emissions test manipulation measures well ahead of an official announcement made by Volkswagen on 22 September 2015. Volkswagen’s share price lost up to 37% of its value in the week the scandal went public.

tsch was the firm’s chief financial officer before becoming chairman of the supervisory board in 2015.

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Legal proceedings are already underway in connection to Volkswagen’s admission in 2015 to developing and using illegal engine control software to alter the outcome of diesel emissions tests.

Volkswagen is estimated to have spent around £26 billion on fines, settlements and other expenses related to Dieselgate so far, with several court cases relating to the scandal still ongoing. 

In April, Braunschweig prosecutors charged Winterkorn and three other Volkswagen managers with defrauding customers by selling cars fitted with defeat devices.

In a statement, VW board member responsible for integrity and legal afffairs Hiltrud Dorothea Werner said “Today, the Braunschweig Public Prosecutor’s Office informed Volkswagen AG of the charges against the company and individual defendants in proceedings under the Securities Trading Act. The company has meticulously investigated this matter with the help of internal and external legal experts for almost four years.The result is clear: the allegations are groundless.

"Volkswagen AG therefore remains confident that it has fulfilled all its reporting obligations under capital markets law. If there is a trial, we are confident that the allegations will prove to be unfounded. Furthermore, the presumption of innocence applies until proven otherwise.”

Additional reporting by Greg Kable

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Comments
10

24 September 2019

It just gets worse what a corrupt company this V W group is. Can anyone explain to me why people still support by buying from this company. By doing so theu obviously support corruption lying and general mis-information to the right authorties, shameless lot 

24 September 2019

 Why?, why did board members decide, think they needed to do this?

24 September 2019

Its well known that the VW group is a highly autocratic organisation: There's no way anyone working for them, or associated with them,  would dare do anything without the knowledge of top management.  Its their arrogance, and total lack of regard for their customers, the authorities, and the general public at large mean I'll never buy a VW group product again.

24 September 2019

@ catnip. I agree, but also the last VW I bought (new) needed a new engine after 4 yrs! Another reason why I wouldn't give them my money again.

24 September 2019
More lies and corruption from VAG, seems continuous from this company.

The reason people still buy them is that still think they stand for quality and reliability - something they are not as good at anymore and at times worse than the competition, at the moment they are cutting costs left right and centre in small areas like - the facelift Passat, the analogue clock has gone and been replaced with a piece of plastic saying Passat, the T-Roc has a rock hard plastic interior and if the new ID interior is anything to go by the next generation Golf will be a drop as well. They can do because they pay so much money for advertising in most of the car magazines for prime spots and do it more often than others - money pays...

24 September 2019

Also dont mention failed tensioners responsible for lots of destroyed engines

24 September 2019

Also dont mention failed tensioners responsible for lots of destroyed engines

24 September 2019

People still holiday in America, buy fuel derived from Saudi Arabia, they watched the Russian World Cup post Ukraine invasion, still eat beef from Brazil, buy IPhones made in China etc.

I actually blame the goverment for not punishing VAG like the US, Germany and France have done, would've paid for several Hospitals so as to treat diesel fume affected lungs!

Would still love a Porsche Cayman but will sleep easy knowing I'll avoid diesels wih even more vime.

24 September 2019
There is a surprise!

25 September 2019

That's a hell of an organisation they're running over there.

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