More Volkswagen Execs Knew About Dieselgate as Early as 2006

Volkswagen TDI engine 1 photo
Photo: Volkswagen
Volkswagen's Dieselgate scandal seems to be far from its end, as German media reveals further information about the number of people in the company's high ranks that knew about the cheat software on TDI engines.
Initially, Volkswagen officials stated that they had no idea about the existence of special software hidden in the ECUs of TDI engines, which worked to trick emission testing. Eventually, company executives admitted to having known of this software, and voices from the industry blamed the group's corporate mentality for it.

From the initially stated small group of rogue employees who decided to trick emission testing, the list of people in Volkswagen's top brass who knew about the existence and purpose of the defeat device grew larger. A report from German Sueddeutsche Zeitung reveals that many managers of the company were aware of the project since as early as 2006.

The story was then picked up and developed by German regional broadcasters such as NDR and WDR. The story was investigated even further, and information from the internal probe on Volkswagen disclosed the fact that the defeat device was an open secret in the company's engine development department and even got further than that.

One of the team members involved in the situation decided to notify a senior manager outside the department in 2011, the German media reports, but the contacted official did not react. The employee ultimately decided to be a whistleblower for the investigators who set their eyes on Volkswagen.

Depending on the inspector's findings, the executives who denied knowledge about the device and who are proven guilty of the manipulation could end up being fired and face criminal charges in Germany.

Volkswagen initiated an amnesty program last year that allowed employees to come clean on the Dieselgate situation without losing their jobs. Several employees came forward for the investigation, and the results of the inquiry will be presented at the company's annual shareholder's meeting, held in April.

The gravity of the Dieselgate scandal is severe, but it sadly isn't the only cover-up scandal in the automotive industry, having equivalents like the Takata airbag recall and GM's ignition switch recall.
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About the author: Sebastian Toma
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Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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