German prosecutors start formal investigation of Porsche SE execs

19 May, 2017, 13:52 | Author: Leticia Walters
  • German prosecutors investigating VW's CEO over scandal

Bloomberg reports that German prosecutors have opened an investigation into whether Müller should have been quicker to notify shareholders of Porsche SE, the holding company that owns the biggest stake in VW Group, about the scandal.

Mueller, boss of Porsche SE and chairman of VW will be questioned by prosecutors in Stuttgart.

Executives are expected to update investors as soon as price sensitive information comes to light, or risk accusations of market manipulation.

The query, that also targets previous VW CEO Martin Winterkorn and has been running since February, resembles one launched by prosecutors in 2016 in Braunschweig, near VW's Wolfsburg head office, into present and former VW board members over whether they postponed the release of details about the cheating of diesel emissions tests.

"Mueller and others ".are suspected of knowingly delaying telling shareholders about the financial consequences for Porsche SE of software manipulation in diesel vehicles by Volkswagen AG", prosecutors in southwestern city Stuttgart said in a statement.

When U.S. investigators disclosed the scandal on September 18, 2015 and charged Volkswagen with violating U.S. law, the German auto maker's shares plunged, losing almost half their value and causing billions of euros in share losses and causing the company to report its worst ever loss in 2015.

As chief executive of Porsche AG until 2015, when he took over from Winterkorn as Volkswagen chief, Mueller was not caught up in probes into those who sat on the parent company's board up until the scandal broke.

Volkswagen faces an array of legal challenges in Germany and worldwide relating to its software, created to fool regulatory nitrogen oxide emissions tests.

The United States regulatory bodies have already fined Volkswagen in the USA for a penalty of $4.3 billion under the plea agreement terms.

The company apologized for the scandal and says it is changing its culture and practices.

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