For more than half a year now (of a planned total of three years) a US troop of inspectors under Larry Thompson has been living in a noble hotel in Wolfsburg (Ritz-Carlton). The reason for this is VW’s billion-dollar settlement with the American judiciary. VW made an admission of guilt in the Diesel dispute. After the billion-dollar settlement, the US judiciary is now investigating further possibilities to tap VW. For this purpose, the VW supervisors under Thompson are to intensively investigate VW. “I have access to every room”, “at Volkswagen there was a corrupt corporate culture among some employees” (Thompson), and the controller is supposed to track this down, report it to the US judiciary and thus ensure punishment.
In addition to NSA’s total espionage of VW computers and telecommunications, Thompson is also supposed to bring about a “cultural change at Volkswagen”. Since US authorities formally have no say in Germany, international law firms will now, in the event of conflicts with US justice, be instructed to investigate the companies and report the results to the USA, at the expense of the accused (VW). So far no case has become known in which the USA have sent direct supervision to a large company to remain there for years, as is the case with VW. VW has apparently totally surrendered itself to the US judiciary.
Other observers also see a connection between Thompson’s total control of VW and the mass lawsuits brought against VW by US lawyer Michael Hausfeld. A few weeks ago, these international class action plaintiffs (called “legal action vultures” in Germany) blackmailed VW with 500 class action lawsuits for a settlement of 14.7 billion dollars in the USA, and they now want to continue these proceedings on a broad scale also in Germany, in the same way.
Ever since Gerhard Schröder prevented the declining US company General Motors from being able to restructure itself by taking over the powerful VW, the latter has been under a relentless financial and legal flack from the USA. But above all this has been the case since VW has become the largest car manufacturer in the world. •
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