Former VW drivers are now personally in court for dieselgate | Car

The Volkswagen group is at home in the processes about the diesel scandal. Today in Germany the trial of the people, former administrators and engineers, behind the scandal begins. The drivers face prison terms of up to ten years.

Four defendants will appear in court in the city of Braunschweig. Former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn is not present due to health problems; he is recovering from hip surgery. His trial has been postponed. Rupert Stadler, the former CEO of Audi, is the most senior driver of the VW group (including Volkswagen, Seat, Skoda, Audi) who is now in the dock. It will be a long and drawn-out process. 133 hearing days have been scheduled so far and the trial is expected to last until 2023.

The public prosecutor accuses the managers of commercial and gang-like fraud with manipulated software in eleven million diesel cars. The cars emit many times the permitted amount of harmful nitrogen oxides (NOx) while driving. During environmental tests, the diesels appeared to be clean. Volkswagen admitted in September 2015 that the company had cheated in emissions tests using pirated software.

The former employees of the Volkswagen group are suspected of complicity in fraud and deception, among other things. Due to the corona crisis, the lawsuit was postponed several times. More former Volkswagen managers have also been charged with the fraud.

Who knew what?

The most important question in the process is: who knew what and when? This question has also been central to the legal investigation into ‘dieselgate’ for six years now. The regional court will now investigate the personal responsibility of VW drivers for one of the biggest German economic scandals ever.

The fraud came to light when the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) learned that diesel vehicle emissions tests were being tampered with. A few days later, Winterkorn resigned as CEO of the group. Winterkorn, now 74, has also been charged with market manipulation for deliberately informing investors too late about the financial consequences of the fraudulent software affair. He has always denied that he was aware.

32 billion

Many courts have also been dealing with civil law aspects such as consumer or investor compensation for several years now. VW has spent or set aside more than €32 billion for legal costs alone. A compensation deal has now been concluded with Winterkorn, other former top managers and liability insurers for a total amount of 280 million euros.

Former VW drivers are now personally in court for dieselgate | Car
Source link Former VW drivers are now personally in court for dieselgate | Car

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