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  • New VW boss headed Porsche during lobbying scandal

    The new Volkswagen boss, Matthias Müller, who was appointed following his predecessor’s resignation over the emissions scandal, was head of Porsche when the high-performance sports car company appeared to be caught drafting EU legislation to weaken noise pollution laws.

    Mr Müller was CEO of Porsche when, in 2012, one of its engineers was named as the author of a ‘compromise amendment’ to the legislation presented to the European Parliament by Czech centre-right MEP Miroslav Ouzký. The amendment included extra allowances for noisy sports cars, such as Porsches.

    T&E obtained the PowerPoint presentation containing the amendment and the file’s properties appeared to show the author was a Porsche employee. T&E said that this revealed ‘undue influence’ from the carmaker over EU law.

    Mr Ouzký denied that Porsche had written the amendment, claiming that while the PowerPoint table in the amendment had originally been drafted by Porsche, he had only used it as a ‘template’ to fill in ‘middle way’ compromises. Porsche also denied it had drafted the amendment.

    Mr Ouzký’s proposal was later defeated in the European Parliament by a single vote.

    Commenting on Mr Müller’s appointment as Volkswagen CEO, a T&E spokesperson said: ‘The issue here is not confidence in an individual’s ability as a manager. What’s crucial is that Europe should have robust testing and proper enforcement as the US does, so that those who cheat pay for it.’