Exhaust scandal: US overseer criticizes lack of transparency at Volkswagen

Larry Thompson is to control VW after the US judiciary's exhaust gas scandal – and admonishes violations in a report. Meanwhile, the group announces several employees.

Exhaust scandal: US overseer criticizes lack of transparency at Volkswagen
  • Page 1 — US supervisor criticizes lack of transparency at Volkswagen
  • Page 2 — VW now apparently wants to get rid of several engineers
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    In his first annual report, Watchman Larry Thompson, employed by US authorities at Volkswagen, warned that VW would be more transparent. In some cases, he does not agree with reluctance of company to transmit certain information, it says in published report.

    The company, citing secrecy of attorneys and protection of privacy, made a black-out in documents, explained Thompson. As an independent compliance auditor (ICA), he expressed his concern about it. "This issue should be clarified immediately in next reporting period so that ICA can effectively fulfil its mandate." He expects that VW will provide all information he deems necessary in a timely manner. The car manufacturer promised improvements.

    At same time, Thompson emphasized that VW is taking his concerns seriously. "A number of positive processes have been initiated." However, until group fulfilled all obligations to US judiciary regarding integrity, compliance and culture, re is still a lot to be done. "We haven't arrived re yet."

    Two violations detected

    Thompson is supposed to monitor for three years wher Volkswagen is implementing promised reforms so that misconduct like diesel scandal cannot be repeated. This was a consequence of comparison between VW and US Department of Justice from year 2017. For this purpose, business lawyer has put toger a team of around 60 specialists, to whom VW has to make all necessary documents available upon request. Thompson is considered uncompromising in corporate mistaking. He was vice-justizminister of USA at beginning of Nullerjahre, when fraud scandals in US group Enron and WorldCom were blown up. Thompson was responsible for prosecution of Enron, among or things.

    Specifically, in his first interim report, Thompson noted two violations of conditions. Volkswagen himself had reported se violations, he said. As Hiltrud Werner, member of VW board of Directors for Integrity and Law, explained, a list of five compliance issues related to annual employee survey "accidentally" was not included in guides for executives. This has now been corrected in interim report. In addition, it had been overlooked to inform Californian environmental authority carb in writing about tests prior to start of emission tests for model year 2017, Werner said. She described violations shown by Thompson as less serious. Basically, se are things that "we could have done if we had been more mindful."

    Hardly any human consequences have been drawn

    The manipulation of exhaust gas values in diesel vehicles of VW Group was flown in US in mid-September 2015, and around eleven million vehicles worldwide are affected. VW has since paid fines of more than 20 billion dollars in USA, in Germany several prosecution offices at VW and daughters Porsche and Audi (here a timeline of scandal).

    VW board member Werner acknowledged: "We still have a lot of work ahead of us." The triggered change in corporate culture would continue to occupy group for many years and was top priority for board. Thompson also said it was premature to say how far Volkswagen had come in implementing its commitments. "We are more at beginning of our audit work." On questions about causes of diesel scandal, he referred to ongoing investigations in USA and Germany. "That's not on my responsibility list." He was not an investigator but was responsible for fact that VW fulfilled his obligations.

    Thompson, however, had already complained in spring that Volkswagen had not taken enough human consequences after exhaust gas fraud. Although VW had released a number of employees after handling of manipulations, it did not take any steps in labour law. Exceptions include former head of diesel engine development at Audi, Ulrich Weiß, as well as Oliver Schmidt, who was responsible for USA for several years as a VW manager and at end of 2017 in Detroit, a seven-year imprisonment and a fine of 400,000 dollars had been convicted. White was on leave after scandal was released and in February 2017 was dismissed without notice. Audi and Weiß settled out of court in a subsequent lawsuit. The procedure of Oliver Schmidt is still running: He had been terminated by VW after conviction, Schmidt defended himself against court. In September, proceedings at Braunschweig Labour Court are to continue.

    Date Of Update: 28 August 2018, 12:00

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