According to a report in a public broadcaster, a memorandum was given to the then chief executive of car maker Volkswagen, Herbert Diess which warned he top executive of the company that it would could face a big legal action in the US related to the use of a cheating software in cars. This memorandum was given to the executive just days before the diesel emission scandal broke out against the company.
The news report broadcast on the German public broadcaster NDR claimed that the Braunschweig public prosecutor’s office was informed by a former Volkswagen employee where he claimed that he had written a so-called “one-pager” on September 13, 2015 where he alleged that the German car maker had lost all credibility with US authorities and that the company was about to be legally charged,
The former employee also testified that the one page memorandum was given by him personally to Diess on September 14, 2015, NDR said. the scandal was unveiled by the US regulators on September 18, 2015.
More than $27billion (R384bn) in penalties and fines has had to be shelled out by the company, Volkswagen has said.
The prosecutors in Braunschweig are investigating the role of the senior management at the company in the scandal and to examine whether disclosure rules were violated by the company. This place is near the headquarters of the car maker. The top management of the company have denied any wrongdoing.
Diess was VW’s brand chief at the time of the incident and was made the chief executive of Volkswagen Group in April this year.
There had been no comments from the Braunschweig prosecutor’s office. According to an emailed response from a spokesperson for Volkswagen, the company had only recently bene given access to the documents of the case and added that there has bene no new findings on the basis of the documents. The spokesperson said that it would not be appropriate for the company to make use of individual statements from the files and to comment on those. The spokesperson also said that because of the ongoing investigation no comments to the media would be given by Diess, Volkswagen supervisory board chairperson Hans Dieter Poetsch and former Volkswagen chief executive Martin Winterkorn.
There was a meeting of senior executives of the company on July 27, 2015 fopr discussing the manner in which to deal with US regulators, who at that time were issuing threats of banning the company cars completely due to excessive pollution levels. German magazine Der Spiegel reported last week that Diess was present at that meeting.
(Adapted from IOL.co.za)