Six years after VW got a worldwide federal and class-action prosecutorial ass-whooping, the dieselgate dragnet is still charging Volkswagen executives like Batman crushing a Gotham crime syndicate. But dieselgate is no movie, it was an active crime committed over 25 years. Volkswagen told the world that their diesel engine technology was the cleanest ever made. At the same time in Wolfsburg VW software engineers were told to create a device to circumvent strict emissions laws. Laws that were designed to protect people from the harmful effects of deadly diesel pollutants. How many vulnerable people suffered and died as a result of Volkswagen’s fraudulent deception could number in the thousands per year. A study from 2017 found that in Europe alone 5,000 excess deaths may have been caused by air pollution-related to dieselgate.
While motoring journalists have been rewarding the VW ID3 with awards it doesn’t deserve, the German legal system has been busy awarding VW managers. German prosecutors announced on Saturday that 15 more Volkswagen executives have been charged over dieselgate. And the charge sheet reads like a drug baron’s worst nightmare; fraud, tax evasion, criminal advertising, indirect false certification. Volkswagen’s best minds employed to simply forward corporate corruption, corruption endorsed at the highest levels.
The charges surprised Volkswagen who believed they had gotten away with assisted murder after attempting to draw a line in the sand in 2018 by paying a fine. Clearly, German prosecutors have been playing a game of bait and switch, however, they declined to reveal names. Volkswagen is seeking to claim damages from Martin Winterkorn, the former VW CEO who oversaw the biggest period of growth during dieselgate. Good luck with that Volkswagen.