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VW to Withhold Jones Day Investigation from Publication

Volkswagen
Picture source: DPA

Volkswagen has decided against publishing an investigation by the U.S. law firm Jones Day into the origins of the diesel emissions scandal, according to Handelsblatt sources at the automaker.

Volkswagen is concerned that publishing the investigation could strengthen the legal case of investors and customers against the automaker, the sources said.

Every sentence of the investigation would also have to be cleared with the U.S. Justice Department: “This can’t be done with such an extensive report,” a participant in the process told Handelsblatt.

Volkswagen first commissioned Jones Day to conduct the investigation in the fall of 2015, shortly after the automaker publicly admitted to manipulating emissions values in 11 million vehicles worldwide.

Originally, Volkswagen planned to release the investigation in the second quarter of 2016, but then postponed publication until the end of the year.

The investigation served as the basis for the automaker’s $4.3 billion settlement with the U.S. Justice Department, which has full access to the report.

The decision to withhold the investigation from publication comes as authorities in the United States and Germany increase pressure on VW executives.

The Justice Department has indicted six top VW managers in connection with the emissions scandal. The German parliament on Thursday brought former chief executive Martin Winterkorn before a special committee investigating the emissions scandal.

Mr. Winterkorn denied having any knowledge about the illegal manipulation of emissions value through software called a defeat device before September 2015 when VW came clean.

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