Volkswagen AG commuted punishment for diesel gateAugust 21, 2020
On Thursday, a judge dismissed part of a Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuit in which the Volkswagen Group was accused of defrauding US investors over the diesel emissions scandal.
US District Judge Charles Breuer in San Francisco granted the German automaker’s petition and dismissed claims that Volkswagen was accused of misleading investors in issuing more than $ 13 billion in bonds and securities based on assets in 2014 and 2015. The judge also dropped a request by former VW CEO Martin Winterkorn to dismiss the SEC’s relevant claims against him.
“As this case develops, we intend to demonstrate the groundlessness of the SEC allegations,” the company said.
The case came after Volkswagen was convicted of using illegal software during a U.S. pollution test in 2015, which allowed the brand’s diesel vehicles to successfully pass emission certification.
The allegation sparked a global backlash that cost the German automaker more than € 29 billion, including $ 4.3 billion in US criminal and civil fines in 2017. VW admitted that it secretly installed software on about 500,000 US vehicles.
But regulators and investors said they should have been warned in advance of the scale of the scandal. VW said it underestimated the financial implications. Breuer agreed with VW that the SEC’s claims based on ABS proposals should be rejected as the Justice Department had already settled them in connection with the 2017 settlement agreement. He also dismissed some claims that the Volkswagen Group had misled bondholders in its financial statements.
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