Volkswagen workers don't have much time left to avoid possible punishment in the scandal-plagued automaker's internal investigation. The company will give employees until just the end of November to come forward with admissions of wrongdoing to inspectors, and VW will exempt any whistleblowers before the deadline from being fired and from damage claims, according to Reuters.

The deadline came to light in a letter from VW brand chairman Herbert Diess that Reuters obtained. "We are counting on your cooperation and knowledge as our company's employees to get to the bottom of the diesel and CO2 issue," a portion of the document allegedly said. The automaker hopes that the quickly approaching date allows it to speed up the internal investigation.

There appears to be some evidence of the whistleblower program working. In October, an engineer reportedly came forward to admit that a group had manipulated carbon dioxide emissions figures from 2013 through spring 2015. They reportedly weren't able to achieve Martin WInterkorn's desired CO2 cuts, and instead they raised tire pressures and mixed diesel with the motor oil to artificially enhance the numbers in testing.

This scandal affects 800,000 vehicles, and they're mostly in Europe where governments often link CO2 emissions and vehicle taxes. VW will pay an estimated $2.2 billion to handle the additional fees for the impacted customers.

Authorities in the US also continue to investigate VW for the defeat device on its four-cylinder diesel engines and more recently on the six-cylinder units too. The California Air Resources Board gives the automaker until November 20 to explain a repair for the affected vehicles. The company might also face a class-action lawsuit in the Golden State (and elsewhere) over the scandal.

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