Former VW CEO faces parliamentary inquiry

Former VW CEO faces parliamentary inquiry

Former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn will be grilled by a German parliamentary committee in Berlin on Thursday. At issue will

Michele Tantussi/Bloomberg

Michele Tantussi/Bloomberg

Former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn will be grilled by a German parliamentary committee in Berlin on Thursday. At issue will be whether the government and regulators were complicit in concealing the carmaker’s manipulation of emissions data.

From 2006 to 2016, VW installed software in 11 million diesel vehicles that made their vehicles seem cleaner in emissions tests. News of this misconduct broke in September 2015, when emissions were revealed to exceed the legal limit by up to 40 times.

Last week, VW agreed to pay $4.3 billion to the US government for fraud, obstruction of justice and violation of pollution laws. Six former VW executives have been indicted on criminal charges.

On March 8, Chancellor Angela Merkel will also appear for questioning before the committee. If it finds the government and regulators were involved in covering up VW’s misconduct, investigators in the US and other affected markets may pursue charges against the German government.