German Prosecutors To Investigate Former Volkswagen CEO

Former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn
Former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn is being investigated by German prosecutors over the company's emissions cheating scandal. Photo by Mark Cowan/UPI | License Photo

BRAUNSCHWEIG, Germany, Sept. 28 (UPI) — German prosecutors announced Monday the opening of an investigation into former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn and other executives over an emissions cheating scandal.

Winterkorn resigned last week after it was revealed the 78-year-old German car maker had deliberately tampered with software that handles the emissions tests of some of its diesel-powered automobiles in order to get them to pass U.S. regulations. The company said 11 million cars were affected by the manipulation, creating one of the largest recalls in the global automobile industry.

Now prosecutors are investigating Winterkorn and other unnamed company executives. They seek to determine who was responsible for manipulating the emissions software.

Volkswagen also filed a criminal complaint so as to help authorities with their investigation.

Winterkorn resigned on Sept. 23 and was replaced by Porsche head Matthias Mueller. Winterkorn insisted he did not resign because he felt he had done anything wrong but instead to save the public image of the Volkswagen Group. He criticized the effort to circumvent the emissions tests and said he had no knowledge of it.

The scandal decreased the carmaker’s market value by $25.7 billion. On Friday, Switzerland banned sales of the affected models, while the German government said the company must find a solution for 2.8 million affected units in Germany or the cars will be banned from roadways otherwise.


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