BERLIN — German prosecutors on Monday charged Martin Winterkorn, Volkswagen’s former chief govt, with aggravated fraud for his function within the automaker’s efforts to deceive regulators about its automobiles’ diesel exhaust ranges.
In saying the prison case in opposition to Mr. Winterkorn and 4 different Volkswagen managers who weren’t named, the general public prosecutor’s workplace in Braunschweig linked the fees to occasions that ran from 2006, when it stated the deception was initially conceived, to 2015, when it got here to mild.
The prosecutor’s workplace stated Mr. Winterkorn continued to hide the emissions fraud even after he was advised that outsiders had been questioning the corporate’s emissions information. If convicted, he might be sentenced to as much as 10 years in jail.
Mr. Winterkorn, who stepped down as Volkswagen’s chief govt in 2015, has beforehand denied any wrongdoing. Felix Dörr, a lawyer for him, stated on Monday that the prosecutor’s workplace had not given his workforce enough entry to the recordsdata for it to touch upon the fees.
In March, america Securities and Trade Fee filed a lawsuit in opposition to Volkswagen accusing the corporate of defrauding American buyers. The fee stated within the swimsuit that Mr. Winterkorn had been conscious of what it known as a “huge” emissions fraud as early as November 2007.
In Might 2018, the Justice Division indicted Mr. Winterkorn and a number of other different Volkswagen executives on prices that they conspired within the rigging of diesel automobiles to feign compliance with federal air pollution requirements.
The German prosecutor’s workplace additionally charged Mr. Winterkorn with approving a ineffective software program replace in 2014 at a price of 23 million euros (round $26 million) regardless of figuring out that it could not eradicate the so-called defeat machine expertise Volkswagen employed to cheat emissions assessments.