#DieselgateScandal: Volkswagen reaches settlement; Winterkorn to pay €11.2 million
Volkswagen's emissions scandal a.k.a Dieselgate scandal has been panning out for years, and now the German automotive group has finally settled its claims against four former executives, including former Chairman Martin Winterkorn who will pay €11.2 million. The company has also reached an agreement with directors and officers (D&O) liability insurers who will pay the group €270 million as compensation. Here are more details
According to the settlement terms, Winterkorn will have to pay €11.2 million while Audi's Chairman Rupert Stadler and former Audi executive Stefan Knirsch will compensate €4.1 million and €1 million, respectively. Wolfgang Hatz, a former Porsche executive, will settle with €1.5 million.
In a statement, Volkswagen said that Winterkorn "breached his duties of care" as former Chairman of Volkswagen "by failing, in the period from 27 July 2015 on, to comprehensively and promptly clarify the circumstances behind the use of unlawful software functions in 2.0l TDI diesel engines sold in the North American market between 2009 and 2015." Winterkorn had resigned in September 2015.
In 2015, Volkswagen was caught using illegal software or "defeat device" in diesel-powered vehicles to alter the engine performance and cheat US pollution tests. In 2017, the automaker pleaded guilty to fraud charges and agreed to pay $4.3 billion in penalties. The scandal extended to some 11 million vehicles worldwide and Volkswagen had set aside more than $30 billion to cover costs and settlements.
In 2019, India's National Green Tribunal (NGT) had ordered Volkswagen to deposit Rs. 100 crore reparations in regards to the emissions scandal. The calculated penalty was based on 3.27 lakh cars in the country which were installed with the said software. The company had recalled the cars after they were found emitting up to 2.6 times higher on-road emissions than standard norms.