German carmaker Volkswagen announced on Wednesday that it had entered into a 288 million-euro settlement with former managers, including company chief Martin Winterkorn, over breaching their obligations over tampering with engine emissions test results.
Volkswagen announced in late March that it would seek damages from former senior employees, including Winterkorn, for breach of duties and failure to exercise due diligence in the scandal that has cost the company more than 32 billion euros in damages, vehicle replacement and legal costs.
Most of the settlement – €270m – will be covered by the directors’ insurance. Winterkorn, who has run the group since 2007 and resigned as CEO in September 2015, will pay 11.2 million euros out of his own pocket, while former Audi chief Robert Stadler will pay 4.1 million euros.
These arrangements were not adopted by the general meeting on 22 July.
On Wednesday, the Berlin Public Prosecutor’s Office also charged Winterkorn with giving false testimony before a committee in the German parliament. The former head of Volkswagen allegedly told her that he only learned of the engine’s emissions manipulation in September 2015, when the case became public. Winterkorn was aware of this months in advance, according to investigators.
The DieselJet scandal broke out in September 2015 after an investigation by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The company finally admitted to installing a program that reduces the level of emissions of harmful nitrogen oxides in millions of diesel cars sold around the world, masking the fact that US standards have been exceeded by up to 40 times.
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