According to a report coming from German magazine Spiegel, more than 30 executives at VW AG were involved in the emissions cheating shenanigans, according to sources from within internal and external probes.
Last month German automaker VW AG acknowledged it had cheated on diesel emission tests in the US and then admitted it had installed the illegal software on 11 million cars sold worldwide, triggering the biggest crisis in its 78-year history, which has wiped off around a third of its market value and forced out long-running chief executive martin Winterkorn. According to sworn testimony by VW’s top US executive Michael Horn, who was questioned by a Congressional panel, just “a couple of software engineers” were to blame for the decision to have software that acted as a so-called “defeat” device in order to dupe regulators about how much the models actually pollute. He added the situation was not a corporate decision – a statement the US legislators were not keen to believe.
Now Spiegel has cited the preliminary results of investigations conducted by law firm Jones Day and Volkswagen itself, which pointed out towards implication from dozens of executives – and to their suspension. It also cited a source familiar with the proceeds that stated the persons found to have been involved or to have known about the cheating could be even further widened as the probes progress. Volkswagen in turn has denied the accuracy of the report by the German magazine. “This number is completely unfounded,” commented a spokesperson at VW’s headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany.