Volkswagen’s top managers have settled in a German lawsuit over the automaker’s diesel scandal. CEO Herbert Diess and chairman of the supervisory board Hans Dieter Pötsch each pay 4.5 million euros to avoid prosecution for deceiving shareholders.
Prosecutors in Germany accused the two drivers of informing investors too late about a US investigation into tampering with diesel car emissions. In 2015, the company admitted to cheating on emissions testing using illegal software.
Justice in Germany sued Diess and Pötsch last year for market manipulation. The Volkswagen supervisory board now states, after investigating its own lawyers, that the two have done nothing wrong. The company therefore plans to compensate the directors for their fine.
Former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn was also charged with withholding information from investors. The German news agency DPA reports on the basis of insiders that that matter can also be brought to an end quickly. Winterkorn, who resigned shortly after the diesel scandal, was also accused of serious fraud by the German judiciary. It has not yet been brought to trial because judges have doubts about the validity of some of the allegations.
Millions of diesel cars seemed less polluting than they were due to Volkswagen’s cheating. The scandal has now cost the car group, which also includes brands such as Audi and Skoda, about 30 billion euros in fines and damages.