Volkswagen might have thought its $14.7 billion settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice might be the end of the Dieselgate trouble in America, but they better think again.
Not only there will be a bevy of class action lawsuits coming from disgruntled clients, but the states of New York, Massachusetts, and Maryland have all filed lawsuits against the German group. According to the report, the lawsuits are separate but erringly similar as the statements allege senior company officials – such as ex-CEO Martin Winterkorn – conspired to hide the emissions cheating, thus violating environmental laws. The state suits may also be very important because for the first time they name the exact employees believed to have engaged in “unlawful conduct”.
The lawsuits also state more than eight employees in Volkswagen’s engineering department were responsible for the deletion and erasing of incriminating information, back in August 2015, following an attorney’s counsel not to destroy documents in relation to the Dieselgate scandal. The NY suit claims Winterkorn and ex-marketing chief Christian Klingler had knowledge of the defeat devices back in 2014 but did nothing to prevent VW and Audi from cheating. The suits also allege that Volkswagen CEO Matthias Muller was actually “in the loop”. Meanwhile Volkswagen says some of the accusations are “unfounded” and some claims are “essentially not new and we have been addressing them in our discussions with U.S. federal and state authorities.”