Two of Volkswagen’s top managers were briefed late August 2015 about the illegal emissions software and potential penalties, a German newspaper reports.
More and more reports are revealing that almost all top VW’s bosses knew well in advance of the illegal scheme and potential financial repercussions than the company claims they did. Citing people who took part in an August 24 meeting of the VW brand management board, the German weekly Der Spiegel reported that brand chief Herbert Diess and Francisco Javier Garcia Sanz – its head of procurement – were told that VW cars in the United States had emissions bypassing devices and the consequences could probably be very costly. The automaker came clean in front of US regulators on September 3 and the news was brought to the public’s attention 15 days later.
This follows another recent report from the Bild am Sonntag newspaper that said the ex-chief of Europe’s biggest automaker, Martin Winterkorn, knew about the manipulation two weeks before the scandal became a public matter and he briefed the current chairman and chief executive about VW’s admission in front of the US regulators. This news come at a time when the automaker is facing multi-billion lawsuits filed by its investors at the German regional court in Braunschweig, who are accusing the company of a violation of disclosure obligations under capital markets law.