New Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess testified in US | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 08.05.2018
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New Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess testified in US

The newly appointed chief executive of German carmaker Volkswagen, Herbert Diess, has reportedly had talks with US authorities on the company's emissions-cheating scandal. Was there a safe-passage agreement?

Volkswagen Chief Executive Herbert Diess traveled to the United States last week to testify to authorities about the carmaker's emissions-cheating scandal, German newspaper Bild said Tuesday.

At the meeting, the newly appointed CEO spoke with representatives of the US Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the daily reported.

Diess, who joined Volkswagen in July 2015 — about two months before the scandal broke — was accompanied by Larry Thompson, the US monitor overseeing reforms at the German auto manufacturer, Bild added.

Last week, the US levied criminal charges against former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn, accusing him of conspiring to cover up the manipulations during emissions tests. An arrest warrant was issued against Winterkorn, who resigned only days after the scandal broke in September 2015.

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Safe passage?

The report about Diess' talks in the US came a day after Bloomberg reported he had been granted a rare safe-passage deal by the United States, allowing the former BMW executive to travel freely without risk of being arrested in connection with the emissions investigations.

Diess was also reported to have received assurance in confidential talks that he would be given advance notice, should prosecutors seek to charge him.

Bloomberg said the agreement "essentially makes it possible for Diess to effectively run the 12-brand behemoth, hopping around the globe to represent the automaker at major events such as car shows, plant openings and new model releases."

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hg/aos (Reuters, AFP)

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