Volkswagen will receive approximately $350 million as part of a settlement with executives who ran the company during the dieselgate emissions scandal, after alleging breaches of their “duty of care”.
Former CEO Martin Winterkorn has agreed to pay the company 11.2 million euros ($13.6 million), while former Audi boss Rupert Stadler will pay Volkswagen 4.1 million euros ($5 million). Volkswagen is also getting smaller amounts from two other executives involved in the scandal.
Most of the rest of the money — some $270 million (nearly $330 million) — will come from what’s known as “director and officer insurance,” or D&O insurance, which normally protects executives from individual liability, but can also be used to reimburse a company for legal fees and other costs.
The payout is a pittance compared to the $40 billion in fines, court costs and settlements Volkswagen has paid so far to resolve the scandal or the $86 billion it has since spent on electric vehicles. But it’s another sign that the company and its executives, current and former, are still dealing with the fallout from Dieselgate — even if that means paying the company, which himself pleaded guilty in 2017.
The news about the settlement comes out a preliminary report of 62 pages investigating the executives’ role in the scandal, in which Volkswagen and many of its sub-brands installed “destruction equipment” that made diesel vehicles look less dirty to regulators. The council’s report follows a large-scale third-party investigation completed in March that has not been made public.
Notably, the report reveals that current Volkswagen boss Herbert Diess was in a meeting with Winterkorn in July 2015, where engineers revealed information about the deception. Volkswagen says Diess, who had just joined the company that month, had “justified its confidence” that the company would resolve the issues raised at that meeting.