Martin Winterkorn, Former Volkswagen CEO, to Pay Firm $13 Million Over Diesel Scandal
Frankfurt, Jun 10: Volkswagen said Wednesday that former CEO Martin Winterkorn has agreed to pay 11.2 million euros (USD 13.6 million) in compensation for what the company called his failure to quickly get to the bottom of the scandal over diesel engines rigged to cheat on emissions tests.
The German automaker also said it would be receiving 270 million euros (USD 329 million) from liability insurance against loss from the actions of directors and officers.
The company said in a statement that Winterkorn “breached his duties of care” as CEO, based on an extensive investigation by a law firm commissioned by the company. Volkswagen Dieselgate Scandal: Indian Who Exposed Volkswagen’s Diesel Fraud Fired From Job; Gets Two Months’ Pay & One-way Ticket to India.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency caught Volkswagen using software that let the cars pass emissions tests and then turned off air pollution controls during normal driving.
Winterkorn, who has denied wrongdoing, resigned a few days after the September 18, 2015 notice of violation from the EPA. Volkswagen has apologised and paid more than 31 billion euros in fines, recall costs and compensation to car owners.
U.S. environmental regulators were alerted to the emissions problems in May 2014 by a study from the West Virginia University’s Center for Alternative Fuels, Engines & Emissions. Volkswagen, however, continued to assert that the increased emissions came from technical issues, not illegal software.
The investigation found that from July 27, 2015, Winterkorn failed “to comprehensively and promptly clarify the circumstance behind the use of unlawful software functions” in 2.0-liter diesel engines sold in the U.S. from 2009 to 2015.
The company said Winterkorn also failed to ensure that the company answered questions from U.S. regulators “truthfully, completely and without delay.”
Settlements were also reached with other former VW executives. Under the agreements, Rupert Stadler, former head of the Audi luxury car division, would pay 4.1 million euros, former Audi executive Stefan Knirsch 1 million euros and former Porsche executive Wolfgang Hatz 1.5 million euros. Porsche is a part of the Volkswagen Group.
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