(Reuters) – Volkswagen said on Wednesday that it had agreed to settle claims against four former executives, including longtime CEO Martin Winterkorn, who will see the carmaker receive 288 million euros ($ 351 million) in compensation for their emissions scandal.
The settlement came on the same day that prosecutors in Berlin accused Mr Winterkorn of giving false testimony to the German parliament when he said he was not aware that the carmaker had rigged diesel engine tests before it went public.
The deal marks an important milestone in Volkswagen's efforts to flip through its biggest corporate scandal ever, which has so far cost it more than € 32 billion in car surcharges, fines and legal costs.
The scandal, which Volkswagen originally blamed on a small number of rogue engineers, also encouraged it to start a huge investment in electric cars.
Volkswagen and top shareholder Porsche SE are still subject to € 4.1
Mr. Winterkorn resigned as Volkswagen CEO in September 2015, a week after the scandal – in which the group admitted to using illegal software to rig US diesel engine tests – broke out.
Wednesday's deal, which consists mainly of € 270 million from directors and officer liability insurance, also includes an agreement with former Audi CEO Rupert Stadler.
It still needs to be approved by the Group's Annual General Meeting on July 22.
A spokesman for Mr Winterkorn, who served as Volkswagen's CEO for almost nine years, refused to comment on the allegations made against him by Berlin's prosecutors.
Volkswagen, the world's second largest carmaker, said at the end of March that it would claim damages from Mr Winterkorn and Mr Stadler for breaches of customs duties. of care under the Swedish Companies Act.
Volkswagen concluded that Mr. Winterkorn had breached his duty of care by not fully and quickly clarifying the circumstances behind the use of illegal software ns in certain diesel engines sold in North America between 2009 and 2015.
As part of the deal, Mr. Winterkorn and Mr Stadler to pay EUR 11.2 million and EUR 4.1 million respectively.
Former Audi board member Stefan Knirsch agreed to settle for 1 million euros and former Porsche AG board member Wolfgang Hatz for 1.5 million euros, Volkswagen said.
In another sign that the legal consequences of the scandal will still be experienced for some time, Volkswagen said on Wednesday. it was under investigation in France following a decision in December by the European Court of Justice.