AP

Volkswagen bosses charged in Germany over diesel scandal

Sep 24, 2019, 5:25 AM
FILE - In this Monday, Jan. 14, 2019, file photo, Herbert Diess, CEO, Volkswagen AG, speaks during ...
FILE - In this Monday, Jan. 14, 2019, file photo, Herbert Diess, CEO, Volkswagen AG, speaks during media previews for the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. German prosecutors say they have charged Volkswagen chief executive Herbert Diess and chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch, along with former CEO Martin Winterkorn, with market manipulation in connection with the diesel emissions scandal that erupted in 2015. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

BERLIN (AP) — German prosecutors said Tuesday they have charged Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess, Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch and former CEO Martin Winterkorn with market manipulation in connection with the diesel emissions scandal that erupted in 2015.

The three men are accused of deliberately informing markets too late about the costs to the company that would result from the scandal, prosecutors in the city of Braunschweig said.

That, they said in a statement, meant the executives had improperly influenced the company’s share price.

Winterkorn resigned shortly after the scandal became public. Poetsch was chief financial officer at the time and became chairman of the supervisory board in late 2015. Diess arrived at the company shortly before the scandal broke and was initially the head of its core Volkswagen brand.

Winterkorn was succeeded as CEO by Matthias Mueller, who was then replaced by Diess in April 2018.

Volkswagen could not immediately be reached for comment. Its shares dropped 2.4% on the news.

The charges raise the prospect that Diess would have to spend significant time on his defense at a point while the company is facing a challenging transition toward producing more electric autos and providing services such as carsharing through smartphone apps.

It is not unprecedented for a German CEO to continue while fending off charges. Deutsche Bank CEO Josef Ackermann was required to spend two days a week defending himself against charges of breach of trust in connection with his duties as a board member of mobile phone concern Mannesmann. Ackermann, who is no longer CEO, was found not guilty in 2004.

Volkswagen admitted installing software in its diesel cars that turned on pollution controls when vehicles were being tested and switched them off during everyday driving. That made it look as if the cars met tough U.S. limits on harmful pollutants known as nitrogen oxides.

In all, some 11 million cars worldwide were equipped with the illegal software.

The diesel scandal has cost Volkswagen more than 30 billion euros ($33 billion) in fines, recall costs and civil settlements.

The automaker apologized and pleaded guilty to criminal charges in the United States, where two executives were sentenced to prison and six others charged, although they could not be extradited.

In a separate case, prosecutors in April charged Winterkorn and four others with fraud in the emissions cheating scandal, which has helped turn many Europeans against diesel engines and accelerated the push toward electric cars.

Prosecutors alleged that Winterkorn knew about the scheme since at least May 2014 and failed to put a stop to it. That contradicted his claim that he didn’t learn about it until shortly before U.S. investigators announced it in September 2015.

___

McHugh reported from Frankfurt.

Today’s Top Stories

AP

Dozens of mourners gather for a vigil near Central Avenue and St. Johns Avenue in downtown Highland...
By MICHAEL TARM, KATHLEEN FOODY and STEPHEN GROVES Associated Press

Police: Parade shooting suspect contemplated 2nd shooting

The suspect in the Highland Park parade shooting confessed to police that he fired on the crowd, a prosecutor said Wednesday.
17 hours ago
This June 5, 2013, image provided by the California Department of Water Resources shows a drip irri...
JESSICA DAMIANO Associated Press

Tips for growing a healthy garden during drought

Watering needs for plants could increase during periods of extreme heat, when the soil dries out more quickly.
2 days ago
Two members of the FBI move items from the scene at the Highland Park shooting...
MICHAEL TARM, KATHLEEN FOODY and STEPHEN GROVES Associated Press

Police: Gunman fired more than 70 rounds at July 4 parade, 7 dead

Police gave no motive for the attack in Highland Park, an affluent community of about 30,000 on Chicago's north shore.
2 days ago
Frankfurter-munching phenom Joey “Jaws” Chestnut has gobbled his way to a 15th win at the Natha...
By JENNIFER PELTZ and JULIA NIKHINSON Associated Press

Joey Chestnut is chomp champ again in July 4 hot dog contest

NEW YORK (AP) — Frankfurter-munching phenom Joey “Jaws” Chestnut put a protester in a chokehold while gobbling his way to a 15th win Monday at the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July hot dog eating contest, powering down 63 hot dogs and buns at the annual exhibition of excess. In a decisive chowdown comeback, women’s record-holder […]
3 days ago
FILE - Fireworks explode over Baltimore's Inner Harbor during the Ports America Chesapeake 4th of J...
BOBBY CAINA CALVAN ASSOCIATED PRESS

A turbulent US this July 4, but many see cause to celebrate

July 4 has arrived as many citizens struggle to find a reason to celebrate. Yet many also see cause for celebration, including President Joe Biden.
3 days ago
A Navy soldier stands guard as authorities wait for the arrival of people who were evacuated from t...
Associated Press

Tropical Storm Colin brings rain to Carolinas, weakens

Tropical Storm Colin formed along the coast on Saturday. Conditions are expected to improve by Monday's Fourth of July celebrations.
4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
Volkswagen bosses charged in Germany over diesel scandal