Fallout from the Volkswagen emissions-cheating scandal continues.
Volkswagen confirmed this week that German prosecutors have widened their investigation; the latest individual to face scrutiny is Hans Dieter Pötsch, former group chief financial officer.
Pötsch allegedly engaged in market manipulation for allegedly for waiting too long to inform shareholders about the emissions scandal. Former Volkswagen Chief Executive Officer Martin Winterkorn is already under investigation for similar allegations.
As Compliance Week previously reported, the emissions-testing scandal dates back to 2008, when several top managers who painstakingly spent several years developing what was to be VW’s most important new diesel engine, realized these engines were not able to meet U.S. emissions standards. Not wanting to halt production and toss years of investment down the drain, managers decided instead to evade emissions standards altogether.
Since Volkswagen confessed last year that it had sold millions of cars with “defeat devices” to evade federal standards on auto emissions, it’s been choking on its own fumes ever since, trying to clear the air with enforcement authorities.
“Based on careful examination by internal and external legal experts, the company reaffirms its belief that the Volkswagen board of management duly fulfilled its disclosure obligation under German capital markets law,” Volkswagen said in a prepared statement issued Nov. 6.
In a statement, Volkswagen said that it and Hans Dieter Pötsch “will continue to give the inquiries by the public prosecutor’s office their full support.”