Throughout the entire affair, VW has maintained that it was a small, isolated group behind the so-called defeat devices. Der Spiegel, though, claims that at least 30 managers knew what was going on and that dozens will be suspended for their role in the scandal. The story cites both an external probe ordered by VW and conducted by US law firm Jones Day as well as the company's own preliminary findings.
This report flies directly in the face of what Volkswagen of America CEO Michael Horn, shown above, said in his sworn testimony to congress last week. Horn straight up said that the scandal "was something individuals did," blaming a sort of rogue group of software engineers (although he also acknowledged such an argument was hard to swallow). If it's proven that he was among the 30 employees involved, or he can be otherwise connected, the embattled exec could be in big trouble.
According to the Der Speigel story, a VW spokesperson said, "The number is without foundation."
Der Spiegel also cited a VW engineer, who said that any diesel engine, like the EA188, EA189, and EA288, that could get by without pricey emissions controls should "have [made] any engine developers leery."
We should expect additional information on VW's internal response to the scandal later this week, when Group CEO Matthias Mueller addresses management.