Even if the investigation into the emissions scandal’s roots is still undergoing, Volkswagen said initial results did not bring any proof of involvement from top management.
The ongoing investigation over Volkswagen’s emissions cheating scandal in the United States is being led by the US law firm Jones Day, while Gleiss Lutz is looking into the matter in Germany. Even if the results are far from being concluded, Volkswagen said the preliminary findings have shown “no serious and manifest breaches of duty on the part of any serving or former members of the Board of Management.” Therefore, as expected, no one at the top is to blame for triggering the largest consolidated loss in the company’s history last year. However, back in December, it said the dieselgate burst because of “the misconduct and shortcomings of individual employees,” a trickery that forced Volkswagen to set aside over 18 billion dollars for fixes, buybacks or compensations for the affected customers, which are around 11 million worldwide.
While no one is to blame, at least no one “important”, Europe’s biggest automaker has no issues on paying the current and former members of its management board 63.24 million euros (72 million dollars) in bonuses, although significantly lower than normal. This move triggered fierce criticism from labor unions, investors, and German officials as well. Activist hedge fund TCI Fund Management recently call it a “corporate excess on an epic scale” and said the “management has been rewarded for failure.”