Dieselgate Aftermath

VW Mulls Claiming Money From Executives

VW Volkswagen non-executive chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch source Nigel Treblin dpa via AP 62286577
VW's non-executive chairman Hans Dieter Pötsch addressed shareholders on Wednesday.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Investors in Germany’s largest carmaker are putting pressure on executives to ensure that VW bounces back from the biggest annual loss in the company’s history.

  • Facts


    • Volkswagen admitted last September it had manipulated around 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide, plunging the firm into crisis.
    • The diesel emissions scandal has already cost the company €16.2 billion, or $18.2 billion.
    • VW presented a new strategy last week, focusing on selling electric cars and “mobility services”, such a ride hailing and car sharing.
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Speaking to shareholders in the city of Hanover, VW’s non-executive chairman Hans Dieter Pötsch said the carmaker was examining whether to demand damages payments from current and former executive board members.

“Independent of our endorsement, the supervisory board is examining whether it will exercise its right for damages payments by former or current executive board members,” Mr. Pötsch said.

The 65-year board member, who himself was VW’s finance chief when Dieselgate became public last September, said the supervisory board advised shareholders to support the actions of supervisors and executives last year despite an investigation launched by German prosecutors.

Prosecutors in the city of Braunschweig, close to VW’s headquarters in Wolfsburg, announced Monday they were investigating VW’s former chief executive, Martin Winterkorn, and another executive for possible market manipulation, alleging Europe’s largest carmaker failed to reveal the manipulation of 11 million diesel cars quickly enough to investors last September.

Germany’s financial watchdog, BaFin, has even urged prosecutors to investigate Volkwagen’s entire former executive board over the timing of disclosing its diesel emissions cheating, Reuters reported Tuesday, citing a person familiar with the matter. Shareholders have sued VW for damages, saying the carmaker informed investors too late about the scandal.

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