VW dieselgate

As CEO Stumbles, Prosecutors Close In

lupe vw_withLogo source dpa fotolia M
German prosecutors are looking for the culprits.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    • Volkswagen could face higher fines in the United States and elsewhere if regulators do not think the automaker is serious about resolving its diesel emissions scandal.
  • Facts


    • VW’s supervisory board steering committee will meet today with CEO Matthias Müller to demand an explanation for his botched radio interview in the United States, during which he appeared to play down the diesel fraud.
    • German prosecutors suspect six engineers of involvement in the Dieselgate scandal, but don’t expect to complete their investigation soon.
    • Institutional investors from the United States and Britain plan to launch a joint lawsuit in Germany this week seeking hundreds of millions of euros in compensation for losses on VW shares.
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VW hoped the new year would bring a fresh start but so far, that’s not happening. Prosecutors are digging in their heels; big investors plan to join the barrage of lawsuits; and CEO Matthias Müller can expect a dressing down from supervisors today for his poorly-chosen remarks during a recent U.S. trip.

The leaders of VW’s supervisory board will demand an explanation from Mr. Müller for his public relations gaffe in his interview with National Public Radio, when he played down Dieselgate, calling it a “technical problem.”

Sources close to the board’s six member steering committee, who are to meet today with the chief executive, said they want to make sure Mr. Müller and his top lieutenants won’t repeat the mistake, Handelsblatt has learned.

In the interview last week with NPR, Mr. Müller sounded dismissive rather than contrite about the scandal that erupted last September. He said Volkswagen “didn’t lie” to U.S. regulators when confronted with false diesel emissions data.

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