Former Volkswagen Group CEO Martin Winterkorn gave the green light on plans to disclose only some of the information about the so-called defeat devices that sparked the ongoing emissions scandal, according to German newspaper Bild am Sonntag.
Winterkorn signed off a plan to only partially disclose information regarding the software which was used to cheat in official emissions tests, the paper revealed.
The plans were approved at the end of July 2015, seven weeks ahead of the scandal’s first airing in September 2015. Previous reports have placed Winterkorn’s initial knowledge of the defeat device over a year ahead of the scandal, in 2014.
VW has previously traced the scandal back as early as 2005, the year when it launched diesel engines in the US. US NOx emissions legislation at the time had a limit six times smaller than that of Europe.
German prosecutors were urged to investigate the entire VW Group board following the scandal, as the number of possible accountable people grows, at the same time as those calling for accountability in the ongoing scandal.
A year on from the scandal, Audi has been pulled further into the investigation, as boss Rupert Stadler was called in for questioning, before being cleared of having any prior knowledge of the scandal.
Audi’s head of research and development, Stefan Knirsch, was suspended over the ongoing investigation into Dieselgate and has subsequently resigned.
A spokesman from Volkswagen UK couldn’t offer further comment on the matter, and at the time of writing we are awaiting comment from VW’s head office in Wolfsburg, Germany.