Volkswagen is Reformed Says US-Appointed Watchdog

Former United States Prosecutor Larry Thompson says that Volkswagen has taken appropriate steps to atone for its crimes following the diesel gate scandal. The company has reformed its corporate culture and adopted measures to make it easier for employees to report wrongdoing, he noted in a final report.

The final report marks a major milestone for VW, as it has completed the corporate equivalent of probation.

Thompson was a court-appointed monitor installed as part of a plea deal with the US Justice Department signed in 2017. The intention was to ensure that a similar emissions cheating scandal would not happen again.

Thompson was an attorney general under George W Bush, reports the New York Times, and worked for Pepsico more recently.

“This is a starting point,” said Thompson during a joint interview with VW’s CEO, Herbert Diess. “The company will need to be vigilant.”

Diess agreed, saying that the process has been good for the company, admitting that the company had deficiencies.

Indeed, the Dieselgate scandal and the blowback that followed pushed VW into investing billions into an electric program whose first fruits we are now seeing. The MEB platform, which underpins the ID.3 and ID.4, is a major gamble from VW, but that may indeed pay off as the rest of the automotive world scrambles to produce its own EVs and appear up-to-date.

As the Dieselgate scandal slowly comes to a close in the US, though, the troubles continue in Europe. Germany just ruled that there is enough evidence to bring Martin Winterkorn, who ran VW at the time of the scandal, and four other executives to trial.