VW culture to blame for silence over emissions scandal, ex-manager says in trial

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A flag of a Volkswagen VW automotive vendor is seen in Bochum, Germany March 16,2016. REUTERS/Ina Fassbender

BRAUNSCHWEIG, Sept 23 (Reuters) – A former Volkswagen supervisor, who’s on trial over the carmaker’s emissions-cheating scandal, blamed firm tradition on Thursday for his and others’ silence on the matter, however stated he would have acted in a different way had he identified the implications.

Hanno Jelden, who prosecutors stated was in command of the event of the unlawful software program on the coronary heart of the scheme, attributed the lengthy silence over the software program malfunction partly to Volkswagen’s firm tradition, which he described as one the place issues had been to be solved rapidly slightly than analysed.

Jelden stated at an earlier listening to that he knowledgeable superiors concerning the software program that sparked the so-called “Dieselgate” scandal, however was pressured to maintain quiet.

Volkswagen admitted in 2015 to dishonest U.S. diesel engine exams, sparking the largest disaster in its historical past and costing the carmaker greater than 32 billion euros ($37.7 billion) in automobile refits, fines and authorized prices to date.

“I by no means made a secret out of this perform [of the software],” Jelden stated in a courtroom within the metropolis of Braunschweig, the place the trial is being held. “If I had identified the authorized penalties this might have, I’d by no means have let it occur.”

The corporate has beforehand stated the software program perform which in the end disabled the automotive’s emission filter was designed for an additional objective, particularly to scale back disagreeable noise from the engine, a protection Jelden repeated on Thursday.

“The perform actually was developed to enhance the acoustics,” Jelden stated, calling the approval course of for the perform a “big mistake.”

The trial of 4 present and former Volkswagen managers and engineers started final Thursday with all 4 accused of failing to boost the difficulty, and as a substitute, in search of to maximise income for the carmaker and, in flip, their efficiency bonuses, in line with Braunschweig prosecutors.

The defendants both declare they didn’t know concerning the manipulation or had knowledgeable their superiors about it, judicial sources stated.

Reporting by Victoria Waldersee;
Enhancing by Bernadette Baum


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