February 8, 2017 / 7:06 PM / a year ago

VW mulls steps against Piech over diesel claims against board

FRANKFURT, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Volkswagen said it was weighing steps against ex-Chairman Ferdinand Piech after media reports that Piech had accused supervisory board members of inaction after learning of VW’s diesel emissions cheating in the United States.

“The supervisory board of Volkswagen AG emphatically repudiates the assertions made by Ferdinand Piech as reported recently in the media,” VW’s supervisory board said in a statement on Wednesday.

“The board of management will carefully weigh the possibility of measures and claims against Mr Piech,” it said, adding that VW would not comment on ongoing investigations as a matter of principle.

Bild am Sonntag said Piech had raised the issue with then-Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn and members of the supervisory board steering committee in March 2015, six months before the scandal became public, after getting a tip-off from an Israeli security firm.

Winterkorn had assured him that everything was under control, Bild am Sonntag and magazine Der Spiegel reported.

Volkswagen admitted in September 2015 to having installed software to cheat the tests, causing a collapse in its share price, Winterkorn’s resignation and tens of billions of euros in fines and legal costs.

Piech had said the previous April he was “distancing himself” from Winterkorn, without elaborating, sparking a showdown that saw senior VW figures rallying around Winterkorn and forcing family patriarch Piech to step down. (Reporting by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by Christoph Steitz)

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