The prosecutors of Germany instigated an investigation into the “former Volkswagen Boss Martin Winterkorn” regarding the rigging of vehicle emission tests, as the carmaker evacuated three engineers with an attempt to handle the chaotic situation (Coghlan, 2015). The former owner of Volkswagen received several criticisms for allegedly selling carts with manipulated emissions data. The brand was under huge legal pressure due to the disastrous scandal committed in their “78-year history”. While getting involved in the lawsuit, the organization approached to a US Law Firm to conduct a thorough investigation on the scandal.
The German Automakers felt under serious legal trouble, which included criminal charges. The criminal charges were brought under notice as the brand sold “11 million diesel cars” worldwide, containing software, which assisted in cheating emission tests (Oldenkamp, van Zelm & Huijbregts, 2016). The “Clean Air Act” probed for fine up to “$37500” for each of the “482000” -suspected Volkswagen cars distributed in the United States. The total fine summed up to “$18 billion” approximately. There was also a probability of class-action lawsuits by the furious owners of Volkswagen.
“William Carter”, the “former general counsel of the California Environmental Protection agency” stated that the brand would face a series of “state” and “federal”, “administrative”, “civil” and “criminal charges”. The brand also became the victim for Fraud charges as they used the medium of internet and the e-mail to implement the deceptive procedure. There were also queries arising about the money laundering acts as investigators suspected that Volkswagen launched illegal proceedings in the overseas market (Pearce, 2015). The legal authorities yielded gigantic fines for the rising concerns related the safety of the cars due to the scandal.
The profit margin and the cash reserves of the brand suffered immensely due to the massive fines imposed on them. The internal auditing left the organization with further legal trouble leading to termination, restructuring and other corporate alterations. On 9 September 2015, the department of Justice launched a policy memorandum, which ordered prosecution of company executives involved in the fraud case of car scandal (Hankel, 2015). The investigators took active participation in examining the root of the issues, which also highlighted several unfamiliar faces in the rigging case.
Volkswagen was not the only brand, which came under the limelight of “US criminal investigation”. “Toyota” and “General Motors” have also experienced the same music at an earlier stage. However, the two brands entered the “Deferred Prosecution Agreements”, which gave them stipulated time duration to put their organization into a particular order by dropping the criminal charges to a later date (CMA, 2016). The agreement turned out to be an attractive option for the brand to neutralize the chaotic situation in an effective manner. Germany had to transfer its nationals within the “EU” under the “European Arrest Warrant Scheme”.
“Bob Clifford”, a partner at “Clifford Law Offices” launched a class action on behalf of the Volkswagen consumers. The Volkswagen dealers also initiated group actions for the contract breach, resulting into suing of the shareholders due to loss of shares in the competitive market (Carvalho, 2016). The environmental authorities also accused the brand for the number of asthma patients suffering by the poisonous emissions of the Volkswagen cars.
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