Arab Times

FBI documents cast diesel pall over VW boss: report

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New Volkswagen chief Herbert Diess, so far widely seen as untarnishe­d by the firm’s ‘dieselgate’ emissions cheating scandal, may have known about the trickery earlier than previously thought, according to a media report Sunday.

Oliver Schmidt, a former VW manager jailed in the US over dieselgate, told the FBI he had briefed Diess and other executives about the cheating and the potential financial consequenc­es almost one month before the group’s public admission in September 2015, newspaper Bild am Sonntag (BamS) reported.

A presentati­on shown at that Aug 25 meeting and obtained by BamS used the legal term “defeat device” — shorthand for a physical or software system that makes a vehicle appear less polluting under test conditions compared with real on-road driving.

VW’s admission on September 18, 2015 that it had fitted 11 million vehicles worldwide with the devices has so far cost it more than 25 billion euros ($30 billion) in buybacks, fines and compensati­on, and the company remains mired in legal woes at home and abroad.

His presence at the briefing could mean Diess, who only joined the firm from BMW in July 2015, was more fully up to speed on the scandal than he has so far acknowledg­ed. (AFP)

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