Three months have been given as a deadline by one of Volkswagen’s top shareholders to come up front with a detailed report on emissions scandal’s roots.
The German state of Lower Saxony, the second biggest shareholder in Volkswagen AG by voting rights, urges the company through the voice of its state’s prime minister to give full explanations of the roots of the biggest scandal in automaker’s history. “There is a very legitimate concern on the part of US authorities, the public and the company itself for a comprehensive investigation,” Stephan Weil, Lower Saxony’s prime minister and a Volkswagen supervisory board member, said in an interview. “It’s in the interest of VW to provide a complete clarification.” Volkswagen said last week to present a report on the scandal at the annual shareholders’ meeting on April 21.
Since the dieselgate erupted in September, Volkswagen has claimed that the cheating scheme was not planned by board members or top management, but rather by “the misconduct and shortcomings of individual employees.” After the former Chief Executive Officer Martin Winterkorn stepped aside, the newly successor Matthias Mueller has also not proven to be more diplomatic on handling the scandal, making an inappropriate statement during a radio interview on his first US trip, in which the CEO blamed the scandal on a misunderstanding and called it a technical, not an ethical, problem.
With billions of euros in expenses and fines, Volkswagen is already cutting costs and jobs will be lost, but Weil assured workers that Volkswagen has the financial power to overcome the crisis without major job cuts. “We stand by the company in good times and in bad times,” Weil said. Volkswagen has said “it will stand by its core workforce, and I appreciate that. I hope VW also finds a solution for affected temporary staff.”