Volkswagen Received Letter of Warning Before Emissions Scandal
Feb 17, 2016 06:00 AM EST
The latest update on the Volkswagen diesel drama details that the car manufacturer received warning back in May 2014 that they will be examined. A couple of sources shed light into the report and shares how the German car maker responded.
As early as May 2014, Volkswagen managers were said to have received a letter warning them of US regulators who were planning to investigate their car engine software. As reported by Reuters, the letter was allegedly sent by a high-ranking employee. With this latest announcement, there seems to be a question on how much senior managers know about this Volkswagen emission scandal. Regulators and prosecutors are currently looking into establishing the role its senior managers played with the lawsuit. This included its former Chief Executive, Martin Winterkorn. In September 2015, Volkswagen was forced to admit that they had cheated their pollution tests. Amidst their admission, the company maintained that only a handful of employees were involved and that its board members weren't involved in the scandal.
The first publication to publicize the internal letter was German newspaper, Bild am Sonntag. They shared that senior managers received a letter warning them of the investigation. The German publication shared that an employee notified his superiors of the investigation. He was internally referred to as "Winterkorn's fireman."
Jones Day, a law firm that was conducting the internal investigation of the company, uncovered the letter as part of its procedure. They share that the letter contained information of the authorities investigating the car maker's systems in order to determine whether or not test-recognition software has been implemented.
A couple of people told Reuters that they were familiar with the matter and knew of the letter. However, they share that it was not certain whether or not Winterkorn had seen the letter. Winterkorn resigned shortly when the issue broke. Meanwhile, a spokesman for the car maker refused to comment on ongoing investigations. Instead, he assured that its internal inquiry will be reported in the second half of April.
Volkswagen is currently facing a lawsuit of up to $46 billion in damages for allegedly violating the US environmental laws.