VW denies allegations chairman knew early about emissions cheating

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VW denied allegations that former financial head Hans Dieter Poetsch, now the chairman of the automaker, did not inform investors in time about the possible financial consequences of the emissions test.

FRANKFURT – Volkswagen denied accusations that President Hans Dieter Poetsch was aware of the car manufacturer's emission test nearly three months before the American authorities made it public in September 2015.

Referring to internal documents from researchers, the German weekly Bild am Sonntag reported that Poetsch, then financial head of VW, was aware of the violations of the rules by the company at the end of June 2015.

The document cites a confidential presentation of the VW legal department, available to researchers in a procedure about the alleged market manipulation of the automaker.

A presentation called "Sacramento" of 24 June 2015 stated that US emission regulations were violated and that the company may also have violated its supervisory obligations, according to Bild am Sonntag.

Testimony of a leading VW lawyer, who & # 39; witness P & # 39; is mentioned, said that Poetsch received the presentation on June 29, 2015, according to the newspaper. Poetsch was also informed that 600,000 vehicles were hit in the US and that the financial risk for VW was 35 billion euros ($ 39.8 billion).

VW said in a statement on Sunday that it had been aware of the accusations for some time. "The presentation by the witness P. is emphatically rejected as inaccurate."

The diesel problem was the subject of a number of discussions with Poetsch in the summer of 2015, VW said. "However, none of these discussions had the content and quality that could make the law on the capital markets relevant to Mr Poetsch," the company statement said.

VW stated that until the publication of the Notice of Violation by the US authorities on 18 September 2015, it had insufficient concrete indications of a situation that could be sensitive to the share price.

Poetsch became VW chairman shortly after the diesel scandal broke in 2015.

Plaintiffs in a lawsuit against market manipulation in Germany say that Volkswagen was not able to inform investors about the possible financial consequences of the cheating test, which so far cost 27.4 billion euros in fines and penalties to the company.

The company has argued that it did not inform investors about the problem because it did not want to compromise the chances of a settlement with the US authorities.