Rifified within Volkswagen. According to the German press, the group plans to fire a group of engineers and managers involved in the dieselgate scandal.
According to Handelsblatt , prosecutors in Braunschweig, Lower Saxony State – where VW’s head office is located – targeted a “small circle” of 39 employees of the car manufacturer in their polluting fraud investigation . Another wave of layoffs would even be expected.
Among the six people who could be dismissed is the former head of VW’s development division, Heinz-Jakob Neusser , according to the German newspapers Handelsblatt and Bild am Sonntag.
Neusser, who has been suspended since 2015, is also facing charges in the United States. He was one of six leaders indicted by the US Department of Justice in January 2017 for acting to falsify emissions tests.
Nearly five years ago, VW engineers discovered that some equipped models failed environmental tests. In July 2012, they reportedly wrote a report to illustrate the problem.
According to US justice, Neusser, then head of engine development at VW, ordered the destruction of documents and asked his teams to find a solution. This took the form of a system that mainly obscured NOx emissions when the sensors detected that the car was moving in a straight line, as is the case when it is placed on the running wheel of a dynamometer.
The documents published by the US justice also show that in April 2013, Heinz-Jakob Neusser authorized the installation of an angle sensor on the steering wheel to improve the detection of conditions of approval tests.
VW told the German press that it would not comment on German press articles, citing its duty to maintain confidentiality as an employer.