Volkswagen shareholders permitted to investigate cheating carmakers with independent experts
A group of minority investors, who have reportedly seen their share values plummet as much as 40% when “dieselgate” hit the press, were initially refused a request for independent experts to investigate Volkswagen by the major shareholders. The minority shareholders reportedly took the disagreement to the German courts, and the Northern German appeal court has since allowed this group of Volkswagen investors to appoint an independent investigator to scrutinise what happened and who knew what about the emissions cheating scandal.
This potentially landmark investigation could uncover more about the senior staff and directors at the company who knew about the so-called “defeat devices” all along!
DSW shareholder’s rights group spokesman, Klaus Nieding, announced:
“This is an extremely good day for the VW shareholders who have lost a lot of money in the wake of the diesel scandal. At last, light will be shed on the darkness that has shielded VW for so long.”
In autumn of 2015, Volkswagen AG admitted to an almost decade-long emissions cheating scandal when presented with irrefutable evidence from regulators. They have since paid out billions of dollars in compensation and fines in the U.S. but this can’t be accepted for remorse in our view. The move may have been motivated by fears of even larger fines, and at the end of the day, they still refuse to compensate victims here in the U.K.
We are angry at the way Volkswagen has treated customers and shareholders here in Europe. For the same wrongdoing, Volkswagen still denies legal responsibility and are denying owners their rights to compensation. So far, VW has only provided European owners with a software update to apparently “fix” the NOx emissions problem, but experts suggest that the so-called “fix” can adversely impact vehicle performance. A number of our own clients have reported issues from broken DPF filters and EGR valves, as well as loss of power and strange new engine noises amongst other odd occurrences.
Volkswagen hired law firm Jones Day to go through its files and produce a report over the scandal. The report was supposed to reveal how the cheating happened and who was involved in the instructing, carrying out and hiding of the cheating. However, Volkswagen declined to publish the report, citing things like business sensitivities for not showing the public what the firm had found.
The German court’s decision may help to shine a light on the dealings Volkswagen has engaged in across the world.
In related news, former Volkswagen executive Oliver Schmidt was the latest to be sentenced for his part in the scandal. As he former head of the company’s engineering and environmental office in Michigan, Schmidt pleaded for a softer sentence by writing to the Judge and pointing the finger at more senior managers for making him deceive regulators. Despite this, Schmidt was still given the maximum recommended sentence of a $400,000 fine and a seven-year prison term; a sentence that’s said to reflect allegations that he reportedly misled investigators and destroyed evidence.
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