VW's diesel woes reach $30 billion after surprise US hit

Ashley Carr
September 30, 2017

German media claim the person is Wolfgang Hatz, who stepped down from his post on Porsche's management board past year after being suspended over the "dieselgate" investigation.

Wolfgang Hatz had been head of engine development at Audi between 2001 and 2007, a period that spans the dates when engineers across the group had started to use illegal software to mask the true level of harmful emissions generated by their cars. Hatz, by the way, resigned from Porsche past year after being suspended in the wake of the diesel scandal.

According to Bloomberg, Hatz was close to former VW chief executive Martin Winterkorn, who has denied any knowledge of the "defeat devices" which allowed vehicles to artificially reduce emissions during tests before their existence was exposed publicly.

It's understood prosecutors have confirmed an arrest, although refraining from confirming the identify of the person. As Reuters reports, VW shares fell as much as 3% on Friday, as traders and analysts expressed dismay that the company was still booking charges for the scandal.

Since the scandal first broke two years ago, Dieselgate has cost Volkswagen over $30 billion dollars and has led to the arrest of several mid and high-level VW employees, with some already prosecuted and sentenced to years behind bars.

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In the United States, where the diesel test-cheating scandal originated, the carmaker must also provide hardware fixes and in some cases buy back cars.

The VW penalty is the largest criminal fine ever negotiated by the U.S. government for any vehicle maker, more than the fines levied in recent years against Toyota, General Motors, and Japanese airbag supplier Takata.

"Here in Europe, it's all going smoothly", he added.

A report Friday from Volkswagen AG referred to the loss as "third quarter negative items" impacting the company's bottom line.

VW first admitted in September 2015 that it had used illegal software to cheat U.S. emissions tests. It also lands as Volkswagen and its rivals face billions of dollars in new costs, as they and a handful of upstart entrants race to develop new technology to mass-produce electric and self-driving cars.

Other reports by My Hot News

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