He claims he knew nothing. Not everyone believes him.
If something stinks, then question it. Fortunately, that’s exactly what German investigators are now doing in regards to former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn and what he knew, if anything, about the Dieselgate scandal. Only a few weeks ago did the US Justice Department announce criminal indictments against six VW employees, but now The Detroit Bureau says the German government is taking another look at Winterkorn. The former CEO was a life-long VW guy, having spent the majority of his career at the automaker.
However, he resigned less than a month after the US Environmental Protection Agency announced it discovered the "defeat device" software on the 2.0-liter turbo diesel engine. Not only did VW admit the device’s existence, but also that the 3.0-liter diesel engine was affected as well. That was in September 2015 and Winterkorn claimed then and now he knew nothing. German prosecutors apparently don’t believe him. "Sufficient indications have resulted from the investigation, particularly the questioning of witnesses and suspects as well as the analysis of seized data, that the accused (Winterkorn) may have known about the manipulating software and its effects sooner than he said publicly," according to prosecutors in Braunschweig, Germany.
These same prosecutors are also now investigating 37 different suspects, up from 21 previously. Last week saw 28 homes and offices searched for possible evidence. It’s unknown whether Winterkorn’s home was a part of those raids. Still though, it’s hard to believe the CEO of Volkswagen, a man whose responsibility was to know what exactly was going on within his company at all times, didn’t know a thing about the existence of the defeat device, and was able to retire a rich man. Those German prosecutors also find that mind boggling.