Prosecutors in Germany have uncovered a series of phone recordings between a number of high-ranking executives regarding dieselgate.
German newspaper Handelsblatt reports that prosecutors have recordings of calls between ex Audi and Porsche development boss Wolfgang Hatz, former VW Group executive Matthias Muller, and current Porsche executives Oliver Blume and Michael Steiner.
The calls were made in November 2015 and recorded by the wife of Wolfgang Hatz. Prosecutors discovered the recordings in email attachments on Mrs. Hatz’s mobile phone which were sent to Hatz’s attorney.
In one of the recordings, Hatz asked how he would be treated by VW in the wake of the scandal. Muller allegedly stated “I don’t want to deceive you; I can’t do anything against the decision of the Volkswagen supervisory board.”
Hatz went on to deny any involvement with the software used to cheat emissions, to which Muller replied “I’m really trying to get you out… but as soon as my name appears somewhere, then it will be difficult. Keep your nerve.”
Additionally, Hatz is claimed to have called Oliver Blume shortly after, to which the latter said “There will be politics” and that VW Group executives “have no ass in their pants.” Hatz also lays blame on the Volkswagen Group for including the cheat software in its diesel engines, stating that it was developed due to “unhappy parameters” developed by “idiots.” In a call between Hatz and Michael Steiner, Steiner allegedly said the software was “programmed so foolishly” and said “Well, we did not try to fool [the U.S.] for a second time.”
Wolfgang Hatz was arrested in September 2017 and jailed until June 2018. He was released after posting three million euros to bail and denies any wrongdoing.