The VW arrogance continues.
Volkswagen now says it will no longer publicly release an interim report about the TDI diesel investigation from law firm Jones Day.
In a statement, the German automaker cited “unacceptable risks” as a reason for not publishing the information, despite previously saying it would go public with the documents by the end of April. VW says its lawyers say releasing the data is too risky and could hamper current negotiations with the U.S. Department of Justice.
According to VW, the company needs “to maintain the highest degree of confidentiality” while negotiating with government offices, including Environmental Protection Agency, California Air Resources Board, Federal Trade Commission, Attorneys General from 50 states, and the DOJ.
Money also plays a role because VW says the information might “jeopardize the credit that Volkswagen may expect to receive in the event of its full cooperation with the Department of Justice,” which could “have very substantial negative financial consequences.” Add to all that, the company says its now concerned the data could allow workers who haven’t been interviewed yet to make their statements fit with the report.
VW hired Jones Day in September 2015 to conduct the investigation into the emissions cheating defeat devices installed on VW TDIs. So far, the firm has collected 65 million documents and conducted 450 interviews. The investigation certainly hasn’t been easy. VW allegedly used dozens of code words to hide the emissions cheating. The lawyers don’t expect to finish the full report until the fourth quarter of 2016.
The German automaker previously promised to release an interim report about the investigation at its annual press conference on March 10. VW then pushed back the date to the shareholders meeting on April 21. At the time, the company said the delay was “due to remaining open questions and the resulting valuation calculations relating to the diesel emissions issue.”
So the bottom line here — don’t expect to hear any official details about exactly what caused the diesel scandal until the DOJ and VW reach a settlement. They reached one in principle last week, but details, including fines, must still be worked out.
A judge set a June 21 deadline for a finalized plan of action that would involve VW buying back some of its vehicles and fixing others pending U.S. approval.