This decade is shaping up to be among the most challenging for Volkswagen. Germany's largest automaker is faced with yet another bump on the road. They are now under the microscope of authorities following allegations of manipulating stock market prices.
It's the German government that's going after Volkswagen. Among those charged are chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch, former CEO Martin Winterkorn, as well as current CEO Herbert Diess. The allegation? The courts say that the automaker waited too long to tell investors regarding misconduct on emissions. Prosecutors added that Poetsch, Winterkorn, and even Diess, held a meeting to discuss the emissions scandal prior to admitting it once the United States Environmental Protection Agency released their findings.
Volkswagen has since released a statement, and the company's lawyers said that Diess will be continuing his duties as CEO in the time being. It states:
“Volkswagen has cooperated closely with the public prosecutor's office. The Supervisory Board has also dealt in detail with the investigation of the public prosecutor’s office and has respect for the public prosecutor’s office’s work. Nevertheless, based on its own extensive and independent investigations since autumn 2015, the Executive Committee still can, also from today’s perspective, not see that the capital market was deliberately not informed”.
Volkswagen argues that they did not have clear indications that would oblige them to inform the stock market as soon as possible. That said, the automaker said that there will be an “extraordinary meeting” that will be held with the supervisory board.