Former Volkswagen CEO To Stand Trial Over Emissions Scandal

September 10, 2020

A German court has ruled that the former CEO of Volkswagen will have to stand trial as part of the Dieselgate emissions scandal.

Martin Winterkorn resigned from his post five years ago, after a notice of violation from the US Environmental Protection Agency brought to light years of VW emissions cheating.

What are the charges against Martin Winterkorn?

He and four other defendants will face trial in Germany on charges of fraud in connection with aggravated tax evasion and illegal advertising in the Dieselgate emissions scandal.

The German court found a ‘predominant likelihood’ of a fraud conviction for the lies surrounding diesel emissions in thousands of VW vehicles.

Martin Winterkorn also faces criminal charges in the US but cannot be extradited.

What is the UK Dieselgate scandal?

Our firm, acting on behalf of tens of thousands of VW car owners in the UK, believes the car manufacturers knowingly cheated emissions rules – put in place to prevent adverse health and environmental effects – by installing illegal defeat devices in their diesel cars and vans.

The illegal defeat devices faked emissions levels by claiming the amount of harmful nitrogen oxide released into the atmosphere was much lower than in real life driving conditions.

Mercedes consumers are victims of VW’s deception; they purchased vehicles which they believed to have passed emissions regulations when, in fact, they were deceived.

Their deceit cost victims money, harmed the environment and created a distrust for the brand.

Despite being found in breach of regulations in the US and across Europe, VW continues to deny any liability in the UK.

How much have VW had to pay during the scandal?

While the case in the UK is still ongoing, Volkswagen has paid more than £25 billion in fines and settlements over many other jurisdictions.

In July, a similar consumer case was won in the US, resulting in Volkswagen having to pay between £3,915 and £7,675 per customer, amounting to £7.52 billion.

If the verdict goes against Volkswagen, they could be ordered to pay hundreds of millions of pounds in compensation to UK victims, too.

Dates for the trial have not yet been set.

More Press

Tom Goodhead Law Society Gazette
The billion dollar man: Tom Goodhead speaks to The Law Society Gazette
While founder Tom Goodhead confides to The Law Society Gazette that ‘potential $1bn debts keep him awake at night’, he is relishing the fight.
Read More
Insights (768 × 507px) (9)
Using the law to protect Indigenous rights
On 20 November, Pogust Goodhead hosted a special discussion exploring how the law can be used to fight for Indigenous rights.
Read More
Indigenous people at BHP and Vale trial fighting for justice over Mariana dam disaster
Vale denied by Court of Appeal
Vale has failed in its attempt to appeal a decision which could see it held liable for damages over the Mariana dam disaster.
Read More