Volkswagen AG Granted More Time to Test Compliance Programs under its U.S. Monitorship
- Company says 90-day extension will allow for thorough testing: “This is about getting it right.”
- Independent Monitor says additional time will “insure implementation of a high quality, reliable testing regime.”
The Volkswagen Group announced today that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Independent Compliance Monitor, Larry D. Thompson, have approved a request from the company for more time to demonstrate that it has met its commitments under the terms of Volkswagen’s 2017 settlement with the U.S. Government.
The agreement gives Volkswagen an additional 90 days to fully test and, where necessary, remediate the measures that the Group and its brands have put in place, including recommendations from the Monitor, in order for Thompson to certify the company’s ethics and compliance programs.
As a result of the additional testing period, Mr. Thompson’s certification report to the DOJ is now due by July 2020. His Monitorship, which was set at three years on his appointment in June 2017, will continue until September 2020.
“As Volkswagen undertakes the biggest transformation in our history, we are working hard to embed a culture of integrity in everything we do and are making good progress,” said Dr. Herbert Diess, Chairman of the Volkswagen Group Board of Management. “Larry Thompson has been an important catalyst for change, and we appreciate his receptiveness to our proposed timetable for this important test phase. We intend to make sure that this change is lasting and continues long after the Monitorship ends.”
The request for a short extension was decided unanimously by the Group Board of Management and approved at a meeting with the Monitor, his leadership team and officials of the DOJ.
“In a global company as large and complex as Volkswagen, we need to have enough time to be careful and rigorous in all our testing,” said Hiltrud D. Werner, Member of the Group Board of Management for Integrity and Legal Affairs. “This is about getting it right – not just getting it done – and with more than 100 processes to evaluate, our message to our business units is to be very thorough.”
Thompson said: “The extension of the Monitorship will provide additional time to ensure implementation of a high quality, reliable testing regime that can lead to certification as set forth in the Monitor’s responsibilities in the 2017 Plea Agreement between the U.S. Department of Justice and Volkswagen AG. I look forward to continuing to work productively with the company to achieve our shared goal of making Volkswagen AG a better company.”
As Independent Compliance Monitor, Thompson is tasked with ensuring that Volkswagen’s compliance and ethics programs are reasonably designed and implemented to prevent and detect violations of U.S. law of the kind that gave rise to the diesel crisis. He also oversees Volkswagen’s obligations under the terms of its 2017 settlement of U.S. federal environmental and civil claims as the Independent Compliance Auditor.