The statement continues: “Whether and to which extent Mr Winterkorn took notice of this memo at that time is not documented”.
On May 23, 2014, a memo on the ICCT study was prepared for Winterkorn, and it was included in his “extensive weekend mail”, the statement said.
In the U.S. alone, the company is facing a civil complaint from the Department of Justice filed on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that accused VW of violating federal law by installing illegal software on 580,000 cars.
Faced with this, as well as tight budgetary and time constraints, Volkswagen asserts that “a group of persons – whose identity is still being determined – at levels below the Group’s Management Board in the powertrain development division, made a decision to modify the engine management software” so it that would produce compliant results only during laboratory testing.
The first blow to shareholders was a high-level power struggle between Winterkorn and Ferdinand Piech, a prominent member of the family that controls more than half the company’s shares and a former CEO.
“This is part of the diesel investigation, the number of suspects has risen, although none are from the management board”, Ziehe said.
The original dates were March 10 and April 21, respectively, indicating Volkswagen’s push for different dates were due to the company resolving the emissions scandal. Winterkorn, forced to resign once the crisis became public in September, received two memos informing him of discrepancies in USA diesel emissions in 2014 and participated in a meeting that touched on the matter last summer, the automaker said in the statement.
CalSTRS, which owns $52 million in common and preferred Volkswagen stock, said the automaker’s “purposeful deception” threatened long-term shareholder value.
Embattled German automaker Volkswagen believed it could clear up emissions-cheating allegations with USA authorities amicably and was caught offguard by them going public instead, a key company document revealed Monday. Those shares would be worth about $54 million today, down from about $64 million before VW shares plummeted after the mushrooming scandal that began in September.
Worldwide law firm Quinn Emanuel and foreign litigation finance group Bentham Europe will represent CalSTRS in the case.
According to current knowledge, on 27 July 2015, individual Volkswagen employees discussed the diesel issue on the periphery of a regular meeting about damage and product issues, in the presence of Martin Winterkorn and Herbert Diess.
At that stage in September 2015, the negotiations between VW’s American subsidiary and the United States authorities had already been going on for more than a year.
There is no evidence Winterkorn read that e-mail at the time, Volkswagen notes.