Ex Volkswagen CEO Charged with Fraud in Diesel Emissions Scandal
As reported by ABC news, Ex Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn and four others were charged by German prosecutors on Monday, April 15 for fraud in the emissions cheating scandal and unfair competition.
Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal
The scheme involved upper management who wanted to make it look like Volkswagen vehicles met U.S. limits on harmful pollutants known as nitrogen oxides. It was accomplished by installing illegal software with pollution controls into 11 million cars worldwide and enabling it during testing then turning it off for regular driving. Prosecutors allege that Winterkorn knew about this fraud since at least May, 2014 but did not stop it. For his part, Winterkorn claimed that he did not know about the fraudulent action until just before U.S. investigators announced it in September, 2015. The other four defendants are all top Volkswagen managers and were allegedly part of the scheme that began in 2006. Prosecutors said they are still investigating 36 more suspects. The defendants each face six months to 10 years in prison and the possible forfeiture of millions in sales bonuses if convicted of aggravated fraud involving serious losses. Winterkorn was already under indictment in the U.S. on charges of fraud and conspiracy to violate the Clean Air Act. If he was extradited, tried and found guilty he could face up to 20 years in U.S. prison. Since the scheme became public, Volkswagen has paid 31 billion euros in fines and civil settlements to authorities and car owners.
Diesel engine sales have dropped since the scandal broke
When the Volkswagen emissions scandal broke, people started looking into diesel emissions across the industry. What they found was that many models from several car manufacturers were also emitting far more pollution than the amount that they had shown in test results because of the widespread use of regulatory loopholes. Since then, European sales of diesel vehicles have dropped and car makers are producing fewer diesel-powered vehicles. A positive result has been increased pressure and plans to invest in battery-powered vehicles.
Products liability claims
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If you have lost a loved one or been injured through no fault of your own, you have enough on your plate. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the justice and fair compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times larger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring, tireless and experienced wrongful death attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County and surrounding areas since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!