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Former CEO of Volkswagen, Winterkorn charged in U.S. over diesel scandal

Team SoOLEGAL 4 May 2018 5:09pm

Former CEO of Volkswagen, Winterkorn charged in U.S. over diesel scandal

Washington: Former Volkswagen AG Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn has been charged by the U.S. Justice Department for conspiring to cover up diesel emissions cheating by Volkswagen. Winterkorn, 70, is charged with four felony counts, including conspiracy to defraud the United States, wire fraud and violating the Clean Air Act from at least May 2006 through November 2015 after the company admitted using illicit software that allowed Volkswagen diesel vehicles to emit excess pollution without detection. It is alleged that he was aware of the emission fraud in 2015 but he still gave it his approval.

The charges were filed in U.S. District Court.The CEO had resigned in September 2015 when the scandal became public. The charges against former CEO of Volkswagen (VW) are being questioned as it is rare even in U.S. that head of a private company is being subjected to criminal prosecution for corporate actions. In contrast no individual was charged when Toyota Motor Corp was charged with sudden unintended acceleration scandal or at General Motors Co for the cover-up of a deadly ignition switch defect. Infact no senior banking industry executives were prosecuted over the 2007-2009 financial crisis.

Winterkorn is presently in Germany and it is unlikely that Germany will allow him to be extradited to U.S to face criminal charges. He is also subject to certain probes in Germany too.

Volkswagen had settled criminal charges with the U.S. Justice Department in 2017 by paying $4.3 billion.  In all VW has agreed to spend more than $25 billion in the United States to settle claims from different set of people like owners, environmental regulators, states and dealers. It had also agreed to buy back about 500,000 polluting U.S. vehicles.

Winterkorn is presently in Germany and it is unlikely that Germany will allow him to be extradited to U.S to face criminal charges. He is also subject to certain probes in Germany too.

Volkswagen had settled criminal charges with the U.S. Justice Department in 2017 by paying $4.3 billion. In all VW has agreed to spend more than $25 billion in the United States to settle claims from different set of people like owners, environmental regulators, states and dealers. It had also agreed to buy back about 500,000 polluting U.S. vehicles.

Tagged: Volkswagen   U.S.   Germany   Emission scandal  
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