FRANKFURT – Volkswagen Chief Executive Herbert Diess was given a memorandum warning the carmaker might face legal action in the US over the use of cheating software in cars just days before the scandal broke, a public broadcaster reported on Friday.
A former Volkswagen employee told the Braunschweig public prosecutor’s office that he wrote a so-called “one-pager” on 13 September 2015, saying that Volkswagen had lost all credibility with US authorities and was about to be charged, German public broadcaster NDR reported.
The employee further testified that he gave the document to Diess in person on 14 September 2015, NDR said. US regulators exposed VW’s cheating on 18 September 2015.
Volkswagen has said the scandal has cost it more than $27-billion in penalties and fines.
Volkswagen’s senior management, which has denied wrongdoing, is being investigated by prosecutors in Braunschweig, near where Volkswagen is headquartered, to see whether the company violated disclosure rules.
The Braunschweig prosecutor’s office was not immediately available for comment on Friday.
A spokesman for Volkswagen said in e-mailed comments that the group was only recently given access to documents in the case, adding this had so far not led to new findings.
He added it was inappropriate to use individual statements from the files and to comment on those, adding Diess, Volkswagen supervisory board chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch and former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn would not comment in light of the ongoing investigation.