Germany charges six Volkswagen executives with fraud

Prosecutors accuse executives of ‘deliberately misleading’ authorities and customers

In a statement, public prosecutors in Braunschweig, close to VW’s headquarters, said that nine million vehicles were illegally registered for road use in the years before the Dieselgate affair was made public.

In a statement, public prosecutors in Braunschweig, close to VW’s headquarters, said that nine million vehicles were illegally registered for road use in the years before the Dieselgate affair was made public.

 

German prosecutors have charged six Volkswagen executives with fraud, accusing them of “deliberately misleading” authorities and customers in the run-up to the diesel emissions scandal in 2015, by failing to disclose the existence of cheat devices.

The 876-page indictment, which does not name those accused, says three of the managers charged “knowingly and willingly participated in the development, refinement and improvement of manipulation software”.

Last year, similar charges were brought against the carmakers’ former chief executive, Martin Winterkorn, and four more VW managers.

In a statement, public prosecutors in Braunschweig, close to VW’s headquarters, said that nine million vehicles were illegally registered for road use in the years before the Dieselgate affair was made public.

Vehicles in Germany were also wrongly exempted from road tax, the prosecutors added. Investigations into 32 other defendants are continuing.

The new charges add to a litany of legal woes facing the world’s largest carmaker. Last September, prosecutors charged Volkswagen’s chief executive Herbert Diess, its chairman Hans Dieter Pötsch, and Mr Winterkorn with market manipulation, for allegedly withholding information from shareholders about emissions cheating.

VW called those allegations”groundless”.

The company is also in the midst of negotiating a possible settlement in a group action lawsuit, brought by more than 400,000 VW customers in Germany. – Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2020