Volkswagen's internal Dieselgate probe stuck because the company used code-words for its cheat software

The internal Volkswagen investigators who are trying to figure out who knew what, when, about the company's illegal, lethal practice of programming its cars to cheat on emissions tests say they've been slowed down because the company assigned dozens of secret code-names to the software, such as "acoustic software."

The company, which earlier claimed that the entire, years-long criminal act was down to a few low-level software engineers (nevermind the evidence that the CEO himself was in on it) has said that it believes its investors will "tolerate" costs of €25 billion to discharge the company's responsibilities for its wrongdoing.

About 450 internal and external investigators have focused on about 20 employees linked to the deception, according to the people familiar with the probe, which is being led by U.S. law firm Jones Day with assistance from Deloitte LP. Weil told lawmakers last week that investigators had done hundreds of interviews. Proceedings have dragged on because many interviewees were reluctant to provide insight due to fear of the legal consequences, said the people. VW sent about 2,000 so-called litigation hold letters to employees in an effort to prevent data from being deleted.

A full account of the wrongdoing will be critical for Volkswagen to move on from the crisis. VW had planned to provide a comprehensive report on the wrongdoing by its annual shareholder meeting, which was delayed to June from April 21 due to uncertainty over the financial impact of the scandal.

VW Says Diesel Emissions Fix Progress Makes Trial Unneeded
[Christoph Rauwald/Bloomberg]

(via Dan Hon)