Handelsblatt Exclusive Dieselgate Committee Chief: VW Executives Personally Liable

Volkswagen executives should face personal financial liability for the costs of the emissions scandal, the head of the German parliamentary committee investigating Dieselgate told Handelsblatt. Former CEO Martin Winterkorn will speak in parliament on Thursday.

Volkswagen executives should face personal financial liability for the costs of the emissions scandal, the head of the German parliamentary committee investigating the automaker told Handelsblatt.

“Those responsible should be held liable in terms of their personal wealth,” Herbert Behrens, a member of the socialist Left party, said in an interview.

Martin Winterkorn, the former chief executive of Volkswagen, will testify before Mr. Behren’s parliamentary committee on Thursday, in his first public appearance since the emissions scandal broke in September 2015.

“Mr. Winterkorn carries responsibility either way,” Mr. Behrens said. “Either he didn’t have his house in order as chief executive, which is an error, or he knew about the manipulation. That would make the scandal even bigger than it already is.”

Mr. Behrens also urged much stricter emissions regulations in Germany and Europe and transparency of relations between the car industry, the German Transport Ministry and regulators.