Ex-Porsche executive arrested in Audi emissions probe

Sep 30, 2017, 15:40
Ex-Porsche executive arrested in Audi emissions probe

As Reuters reports, VW shares fell as much as 3% on Friday, as traders and analysts expressed dismay that the company was still booking charges for the scandal. As The Wall Street Journal pointed out, however, VW spins off enough cash to pay the costs of the diesel scandal, but that spending hampers its ability to invest in innovation.

In late 2016, Volkswagen pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the USA government over the diesel scandal and agreed to pay almost $25 billion in fines, penalties and compensation, after it settled a number of civil lawsuits.

VW first admitted in September 2015 that it had used illegal software to cheat USA emissions tests. The scandal has now cost the company around $30 billion. Two Volkswagen employees have also faced charges in the USA, with one sentenced to just over three years in prison.

Volkswagen made the announcement prior to the third quarter earnings report, scheduled to be released on October 27. Still, the investment vehicle for the descendants of the VW Beetle's creator stuck to a forecast for net income of at least 2.1 billion euros this year.

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Volkswagen said on September 29 it was increasing provisions related to its Dieselgate scandal by 2.5 billion euros.

VW faces an array of legal challenges in Germany and worldwide relating to the software, installed mainly in own- brand vehicles but also in cars made by Audi, Skoda and Seat, among its stable of 12 brands. The fix is taking longer and some cars had to be worked on a few times.

The new charge comes 15 months after Volkswagen and US regulators and law enforcement agencies agreed on a program by which the company agreed to buy back or fix about 50,000 Volkswagen and Audi models. The hit will wipe out more than half of Volkswagen's projected 4.45 billion euros in earnings for the period, according to three analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Hatz was a close ally of former VW Group CEO Martin Winterkorn and, if confirmed, his arrest would make him the highest VW employee taken into custody by prosecutors, who earlier this year arrested an Audi engineer.

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