BERLIN- Volkswagen German automaker have rejected a report on Sunday that chief executive Herbert Diess knew of the financial risks from the firm’s massive diesel cheating earlier than he has so far acknowledged.
German weekly Bild am Sonntag (BamS) reported that Oliver Schmidt a former VW manager who is jailed in the United States over dieselgate, had informed FBI he had briefed Diess and other executives about the cheating and the potential financial consequences on August 25, 2015.
This is nearly a month before VW confessed to the pubic on September 28 that the automaker had lied for over a decade, by installing “defeat devices”, a physical and software system that makes a vehicle appear less polluting under test conditions compared with real on-road driving into 11 million cars worldwide.
When the scandal broke, there were conflicting reports from Germany and international media which executives knew what, when after the company admitted about diesel cheating.
A definite timeline is important for the legal cases VW is facing, as share holders are trying to take back cash they lost when the group’s share price slumped in the days after the scandal broke. With board members failing to inform investors of potential financial harm to their company in a timely fashion.
On Sunday VW made their defence clear in the 9 billion-euro case against them, brought by the shareholders, they contests the claim that Schmidt had briefed then-chief executive Martin Winterkorn, Diess and others about looming fines of $18.5 billion on August 25.
The documents reads, “In this meeting, the threat of imminent or concrete fines… was not discussed,”
“Insofar as Mr Schmidt is supposed to have mentioned the legal maximum punishments, he did not say that concrete fines of this amount should be expected.” he parties hoped to reach a resolution with US authorities.
Photo Credit- Reuters