Former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn was advised of the maker’s cheating on diesel emissions tests at least 16 months ahead of when the scandal became public, the automaker confirmed.
Separately, VW has issued an advisory to its shareholders revealing it did not expect the subterfuge to erupt into what is arguably the biggest crisis in its post-War history. The company said it anticipated a quick resolution with U.S. authorities and that the cost of resolving the issue would likely be “not especially high.”
With more than 500 lawsuits facing it, including one filed by the U.S. Justice Department, the costs appear to be mounting – as became clear Thursday when VW’s luxury subsidiary Audi reported a sharp, 6.1% decline in 2015 earnings. Audi shares several of the diesel engines involved in the emissions scandal.