Volkswagen of America has set a deadline at the end of November for its whistleblower program. This program was created to encourage workers to disclose information about the VW emissions cheating scandals in hopes to speed up investigations.
Under the whistleblower program, workers will be exempt from dismissals and damage claims who get in touch with internal investigators no later than November 30.
VW has said it hired advisory firm Deloitte and U.S. law firm Jones Day to investigate under what circumstances the company installed software into diesel cars that changed engine settings to reduce emissions whenever the vehicle was put through tests.
The portfolio manager at Union Investment, which holds 0.5 percent of Volkswagen’s preference shares, urged Volkswagen to name new top leadership.
“We would prefer people from outside VW to lead the management and supervisory boards,” Ingo Speich said in a statement. “What matters most now is to regain trust of the capital markets; this cannot be done with the current leadership.”
He said the company’s current leaders are tainted by their long involvement with Volkswagen. “VW has had its crises over the past ten years but never taken drastic measures. This is their chance to finally take the right action.”
Peter Henning, a law professor at Wayne State University in Detroit, said that VW’s expedited timeless for whistleblowers is a creative step to get the information that Jones Day needs.
He said it is unusual to tell employees that they could avoid being fired if they come forward, even if they were involved in wrongdoing. But the letter does state that VW cannot guarantee that employees will avoid prosecution if they admit involvement.
A source at VW said the executive and supervisory boards initially sought to have the whistleblower program run through the end of the year but, encouraged by recent positive feedback, decided to set the more ambitious end-November deadline.