Even the lawmakers make mistakes and it appears such a case has arisen in relation to the VW “dieselgate” crisis – German prosecutors seemed to rush ahead too fast with allegations.
The German prosecutors have made what essentially could be called a U-turn after announcing former Volkswagen AG Chief Executive Officer Martin Winterkorn was the focus of an investigation and now releasing a statement that kind of clears him. The Lower Saxony prosecutor’s office said on Tuesday they are still probing accusations of fraud at the VW Group, removing the one issued earlier in the week and modifying their stance into having to come up with “concrete facts” before turning their attention to Winterkorn as well. This mistake shows that even German lawmakers are highly pressured to find out everything about the creation of the software that allowed the world’s largest automaker to dupe diesel emissions testing in the United States for years.
It appears “Winterkorn had been prejudged,” comments Christoph Schalast, a professor at the Frankfurt School of Finance. “An initial suspicion must be based on facts, and you must begin an investigation before you can establish the facts.” The diesel cheating scandal has rocked the 78-year company and rattled authorities around the world, making Winterkorn hand over his resignation last week and killing off around one third of the company’s market value in a matter of days. The German automaker admitted it had rigged its diesel-powered cars and then said the worldwide number was close to 11 million after initially just below half a million were the focus in the US.