Germany’s Volkswagen AG has not found any sources of evidence against three of its most important engineers that were suspended during the internal probe conducted after the company admitted it had cheated US diesel emissions tests.
The report comes from a person that is close to the company’s supervisory board that talked to Reuters under condition of anonymity and two other sources added the automaker’s internal investigation has found the first cases of installing the software aimed at rigging diesel emissions tests were from 2008. Back then the employees found the new engine they had developed through massive investments would be unable to pass both US emissions levels and the internal cost thresholds. So far the probe has resulted in the suspension of at least ten senior managers, with just three names of top engineers already known through various media reports. They were Heinz-Jakob Neusser, chief of technical development at the namesake VW brand; Ulrich Hackenberg, who oversaw research and development at premium brand Audi; and Wolfgang Hatz, the VW group’s engine head and boss of research and development at sports car marquee Porsche.
According to reports, the internal investigation will be the main focus at a special board meeting to be held on Wednesday at VW’s Wolfsburg headquarters, but so far the probe has not uncovered evidence against the suspended managers. Nevertheless, the proceedings are expected to last several months. Europe’s biggest carmaker and the world’s largest by sales has acknowledged it had used illegal software to pass US diesel emission tests and the German transport minister also claimed they rigged the tests in Europe.