Upper management reportedly knew about the problem in 2006.
According to a report from The New York Times, the attorney for Zacchero Giovanni Pamio has given statements and evidence to German investigators over the far-reaching Volkswagen emissions scandal. Pamio held a lead role at VW's Audi brand in the engine development department, and has allegedly said that top Audi managers knew diesel engines couldn’t meet U.S. or European emission requirements as early as 2006. If true, Pamio’s claim could mean that Volkswagen is still lying about who knows what, and how far up the chain the scandal actually goes.
Ever since the term Dieselgate was coined back in 2015, there’s been continual debate about just how many people at Volkswagen knew about it. The first prison sentence in the United States was handed down to former VW engineer James Liang just a few days ago, and it wasn’t pretty: 40 months behind bars and a $200,000 fine, which was more than even the prosecution asked for. Is a coincidence, then, that another engineer in legal hot water is implicating top brass?
Pamio is being held in Germany at the request of American officials, with whom he has reportedly spoken with. Germany is investigating approximately 40 people in the continuing scandal, but because Pamio is actually an Italian citizen in Germany, he can be extradited to the U.S. for prosecution. According to the report, it’s believed that extradition will take place soon.
Pamio’s attorney didn’t specify any names of the top executives reportedly in the know on emissions failures, but the claims are said to be backed up with evidence. Thus far, no high ranking Audi officials or managers have been charged.
Liang’s sentencing last Friday could well be a motivating factor not just for Pamio to start name-dropping, but for other engineers and mid-level employees to start blowing whistles. With European investigations adding more heat to the issue, it’s likely things are going to get worse for Volkswagen and Audi before they get better.
Source: The New York Times