Diesel emissions scandal: Ex-VW boss Winterkorn charged in US

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Martin Winterkorn, former CEO of VW Image copyright Getty Images

Former Volkswagen chief executive Martin Winterkorn has been charged by US prosecutors in Detroit over the diesel emissions scandal.

He has been accused of conspiring to mislead regulators about the German car maker’s efforts to cheat the emissions tests of its diesel-fuelled vehicles.

Volkswagen did not immediately comment.

Charges filed in March were revealed on Thursday, adding Mr Winterkorn to the list of accused former VW executives.

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the indictment showed that Volkswagen’s scheme to cheat its legal requirements went “all the way to the top”.

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Mr Winterkorn, 70, is the ninth person to be hit with US criminal charges connected to the emissions cheating scandal. Two have pleaded guilty and were jailed.

Image copyright Getty Images

Prosecutors say Mr Winterkorn was told of the cheating as early as May 2014 and agreed to collaborate on a cover-up.

He resigned soon after the scandal over polluting vehicles in the US became public in September 2015.

The former VW chief has said he was unaware of the issue until late August of that year.

The scandal has sparked investigations in Germany and other countries.

German prosecutors have also said that Mr Winterkorn was aware of the problems earlier than he has admitted.

Charging the former boss comes after VW pleaded guilty in March 2017 to criminal charges that it deceived US regulatory agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Boardby installing so-called defeat devices in diesel vehicles emissions control systems.

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