Volkswagen Group is under new scrutiny as German prosecutors charge two top bosses with stock market manipulation. Prosecutors allege VW Group CEO Herbert Diess and Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch failed to promptly inform investors about the Dieselgate scandal according to Automotive News. The new charges are just the latest development in the years-long scandal that has rocked the iconic automaker and has led to billions in fines for the company and its subsidiaries. Prosecutors also charged former CEO Martin Winterkorn in the case.
Lawyers for both Diess, who will remain as VW’s CEO, and Poetsch say neither could have predicted the scandal’s financial impact on the company. Diess joined the company in July 2015, months ahead of the scandal breaking in September when the automaker admitted it had installed software on 11 million vehicles to cheat emissions testing, racking up €30 billion (£26.5 billion) in fines and expenses so far, according to the publication.
Volkswagen is doing all that it can to leave Dieselgate in the past. In June, the company kicked off a new advertising campaign designed to show customers the company has started a new chapter. The campaign kicked off with a TV ad entitled “Hello Light” that said the company would follow new ethics while investing in electric vehicle development and production. Late last year, the company announced it’d spend $50 billion (£40 billion) to launch 50 electric vehicles by 2025.
Poetsch and Winterkorn aren’t only under investigation for their alleged role in manipulating the stock market at VW Group. The two, who were also on Porsche’s board when the scandal broke, and former CEO Matthias Mueller, are also facing stock market manipulation allegations at Porsche, as well. Volkswagen may be ready to move on from the scandal and the damage done to its brand, but prosecutors aren’t letting go so easily.