VW SCANDAL Report: Piëch Implicates Supervisory Board in Dieselgate

VW’s former supervisory board chair, Ferdinand Piëch, has accused Lower Saxony’s premier and other board members of having known about emissions cheating in the state-backed company much earlier than they have acknowledged. The board has dismissed Mr. Piëch's allegations and warned of consequences.
Ferdinand Piëch has already implicated former CEO Martin Winterkorn and now he's accusing State Premier Stephan Weil over the emissions manipulation scandal too. Picture source: AP

Ferdinand Piëch, VW’s former supervisory board chair, has implicated members of the non-executive board, including a state premier, in the automaker’s diesel emissions scandal, according to a report by the German tabloid Bild newspaper.

Mr. Piëch, who had already implicated VW's former CEO Martin Winterkorn, reportedly told the state prosecutor’s office in Braunschweig that supervisory board members also knew about possible emissions manipulation months earlier than they have publicly acknowledged.

The former supervisory board chair said he received information from an Israeli security firm about possible diesel emissions manipulation in February 2015.

Mr. Piëch said he then confronted the chief executive at the time, Mr. Winterkorn, with this information. Mr. Winterkorn said he had the situation under control.

According to Bild's information, the conversation between the two men was then discussed at a supervisory board meeting attended by Lower Saxony’s Premier Stephan Weil, VW’s works councils head Bernd Osterloh, the head of the IG Metall union Berthold Huber and shareholder Wolfgang Porsche. The state of Lower Saxony holds a 20-percent stake in Volkswagen.

The supervisory board, however, continued to back Mr. Winterkorn despite Mr. Piëch’s concerns about diesel-emissions manipulation.  Mr. Weil previously told the media that he first learned about emissions manipulation when Volkswagen publicly came clean in September 2015.

VW's supervisory board dismissed Mr. Piëch's allegations on Wednesday and warned of consequences.

"The supervisory board of Volkswagen AG emphatically repudiates the assertions made by Ferdinand Piëch as reported recently in the media," the supervisory board said in a statement. "The board of management will carefully weigh the possibility of measures and claims against Mr Piëch,"