VW Investors Want Independent Probe Of Diesel Scandal
25 May 2016 - Autoblog
hree European investor groups are calling for an independent probe into Volkswagen's diesel-emissions scandal, saying they're not confident the European automaker can do it properly on its own, Reuters says.
Germany-based DSW, Brussels-based Deminor, and London-based Hermes EOS have each made it known that an independent investigation will be necessary to properly ferret out the cause of the scandal, which became public in September. DSW in particular is questioning the potential transparency of VW's current probe.
DSW and Deminor say that VW shareholders should use the company's annual general meeting on June 22 to vote for an independent probe, though the fact that the Piech-Porsche families own the majority of the company's voting rights will make such a vote unlikely. In fact, Wolfgang Porsche was appointed in March to head a special committee on diesel engines for VW. Volkswagen, which has set aside about $18 billion for vehicle repairs and legal expenses stemming from the scandal, declined to comment to Reuters.
The investors' call for an independent probe follows up a $3.6-billion lawsuit filed in March by a group of 278 institutional investors. Those shareholders alleged that VW didn't properly inform them of the diesel-emissions scandal before it officially broke.
VW said in late April that it wouldn't release in interim report on the diesel probe that it commissioned from law firm Jones Day. At the time, VW said that it was advised against disclosing interim results because VW's talks with the US Department of Justice would be at risk. Jones Day has been working on the report since September and, as of late last month, collected 65 million documents. The firm is looking to complete the report by the end of the year.