Volkswagen Chief Executive Matthias Mueller has cast doubt on a recent report that said many managers at the German carmaker had knowledge of the development of the cheating device.
The German Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper reported last week that the development of the bypassing emissions software tests was an open secret for the company’s engine R&D department. The paper said the cheating plan was openly discussed within the unit as long ago as 2006 and many managers and employees involved in the emissions tests obviously knew about it. The newspaper, which researched the matter with regional broadcasters NDR and WDR, cited a source which they said was himself involved in the deception and had testified to investigators hired by VW. “No one has spoken with me,” Chief Executive Matthias Mueller told reporters on Thursday at a reception of auto executives. “You got the information from some sources who have no idea about the whole matter.”
He also did not give any hints about a possible first public release of the internal investigation results over the scandal by the US law firm Jones Day before its shareholders’ annual general meeting on April 21. “Is it really so difficult to accept that we are obliged by stock market law to submit a report to the AGM on April 21 and that it is not possible for us to say anything beforehand?”, the CEO asked.
Volkswagen’s top committee will meet next Wednesday for a third time in three weeks, to talk about the emissions scandal effects, according to sources. There are plenty of subjects to be tackled by the executive committee of the company’s supervisory board on their meeting, as the company continues to grapple with the crisis more than four months after it broke, people said.