German court declines Volkswagen’s bid to suspend emissions audit

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Germany’s highest court has turned down a bid by Volkswagen to suspend the work of a special auditor selected to investigate management’s actions in the “Dieselgate” emissions scandal.

A three-judge panel did not provide an opinion on the benefits of the case, where the automaker argues that the naming of the auditor by a lower court violated its essential rights, but did dismiss the company’s request for an injunction.

“The constitutional complaint that has been submitted is neither a priori inadmissible nor is it undoubtedly ungrounded,” the Constitutional Court panel stated in the five-page ruling, dated December 20, that was viewed by Reuters.

It added, however, that the automaker had not “convincingly made the case for an immediate decision”.

A local court selected the auditor in November, in a victory for investor groups that wish to establish whether Volkswagen bosses kept market-moving details about the manipulation of vehicle-emissions tests.

The court in the town of Celle ruled that the automaker might not appeal against its decision. The automaker sees the consultation of the auditor as an infraction of its fundamental rights, a company spokesman stated on Friday.

Investor groups looking for billions in damages from automaker are aiming to develop when Volkswagen’s executive management board initially became aware of cheating in the emissions tests and whether it revealed possible monetary damage to investors immediately.

German securities law requires companies to release any market sensitive news in a timely fashion. The issue is also being investigated by German prosecutors.

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