ex-Volkswagen chief Martin Winterkorn testifies on emissions scandal
BERLIN, Germany (WDEF) – The Volkswagen leader who was taken down by the deisel-emissions scandal made his first public appearance on Thursday since it broke.
Martin Winterkorn was grilled by German politicians about the scandal.
The former chief executive denied any personal knowledge of the emissions cheating.
He says he first learned how bad it was just as the EPA in the United States leveled their charges in September of 2015.
Winterkorn declined to answer more specific questions to the German parliamentary committee, because of ongoing investigations.
In fact, there is still speculation that the U.S may try to charge him.
Here is the time frame he layed out on what he knew, and when he knew it.
Friday, Sept. 18th: Winterkorn was informed that the U.S. would file emissions charges against Volkswagen, just minutes before the EPA posted their official notice.
Sept. 19th: Company management held a telephone conference call to figure out what was going on in the U.S.
Sept. 20th: Supervisory board met, the weekend meetings convinced him it was more than just a U.S. problem.
Sept. 21st: He learned the diesel cheating affected 11 million vehicles world-wide and he informed German chancellor Merkel.
Sept. 23rd: Winterkorn stepped down from his job under pressure.
He told the lawmakers that he realizes his name will always be associated with the scandal.
Winterkorn played an important role in bringing his company to Chattanooga.
He oversaw the decision to build here and came for the grand opening of the plant in 2011.