Volkswagen’s woes related to its diesel scandal continue as Volkswagen Group CEO Matthias Mueller is now under investigation in Germany.
Prosecutors are investigating the possibility that he did not fully disclose details of the company’s emissions scandal to investors, according to multiple reports.
Until now, Mueller managed to remain above the diesel investigatory fray. Other VW executives, most notably former CEO Martin Winterkorn, who denied any involvement, but resigned anyway, have been caught up in the churn of queries over the 2015 emissions scandal.
The market manipulation probe by Stuttgart prosecutors focuses on whether VW executives were candid enough with investors before word of the problem became public knowledge. The diesel emissions scandal has cost the German automaker $25 billion in the U.S. alone in fines, fees, corrective actions and other expenses.
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The allegations against Mueller allegedly stem from a complaint by BaFin, a German securities regulator, and involve former executives at Porsche, which was led by Mueller at the time.
“At the moment we have no knowledge about investigations from the prosecutor in Stuttgart,” Porsche spokesman Albrecht Bamler said in an emailed statement.
Since the problem came to light, VW has embarked on a mission to apologize and become more transparent with problems. The company recently gained clearance from U.S. regulators to sell the diesel-powered VWs from 2015 that were held up when the scandal broke.
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Part of VW’s mission has included a dramatic shift in its product strategy away from diesels to electric vehicles. During the German automaker’s annual shareholders meeting executives largely mum when it came to the specifics of an extensive internal probe into the company’s cheating on diesel emissions standards, focusing instead on the future.
“The future is electric,” declared Matthias Mueller, during the annual meeting in Hanover, not far from the automaker’s headquarters in Wolfsburg. And VW, he added, “intend(s) to be the number one in e-mobility by 2025.
The German automaker plans to bring out 10 electrified models by 2018, and have 30 more battery-electric models in its product portfolio by 2025, said Mueller, expanding on VW’s earlier commitment to the technology. All 12 of the company’s brands are expected to add some electrified models.
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Mueller noted that Volkswagen has spent 3 billion euros on alternative powertrain technologies over the last five years, and he said the plan is to triple that investment over the next five.