German regulator launches another investigation into Volkswagen

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Germany’s financial watchdog stated on Friday it was investigating whether Volkswagen unlawfully revealed information about its emissions scandal to third parties, contributing to the automaker’s legal headaches over two years after the scandal broke.

Europe’s biggest automaker is presently being investigated by the BaFin watchdog over presumed insider trading associated with its “Dieselgate” scandal, and an investigation by Braunschweig prosecutors over presumed manipulation adjustment.

In previous week, a German court also ruled that an independent auditor must be appointed to examine Volkswagen’s cheating of U.S. diesel motor tests, improving investors’ hopes for settlement.

On Friday, German magazine Der Spiegel reported that the automaker’s CEO at the time, Martin Winterkorn, notified then-Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt and the head of Germany’s KBA watchdog on September 21, 2015, about the degree of the automaker’s cheating.

However VW did not reveal until September 22, 2015, that about 11 million cars globally were fitted with emissions-cheating software which it would reserve billions of euros to cover the possible cost of the scandal.

“We are looking at this process with a view to a possibly unauthorized disclosure of inside information,” a spokesperson for BaFin stated, confirming the Der Spiegel report.

VW refused to comment on the current BaFin investigation, however restated its view that its management board “duly fulfilled” its commitments regarding capital market disclosure rules.

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