Volkswagen Group CEO Matthias Müller is in legal hot water for the first time due to an investigation into whether he adequately disclosed information on the diesel emissions cheating scandal to shareholders.
Bloomberg reports that German prosecutors have opened an investigation into whether Müller should have been quicker to notify shareholders of Porsche SE, the holding company that owns the biggest stake in VW Group, about the scandal.
Müller replaced Martin Winterkorn as VW Group CEO in late 2015. He was previously the head of the Porsche brand as well as a board member at Porsche SE.
Until now, Müller had been able to avoid being drawn into the sprawling investigation over how VW Group manipulated vehicle software to cheat EPA emissions tests on diesel vehicles, even while other executives at the automaker have come under law enforcement’s glare. Müller has long maintained that his status as an individual outside of the investigation made him an ideal person to lead the company.
VW Group, meanwhile, says it correctly notified investors, as it was unable to know that the problem would balloon into a multi-billion dollar issue. The scandal has cost the automaker an estimated $24 billion so far.
Prosecutors were spurred by a complaint from German financial regulator Bafin. Similar complaints led to investigations into other executives at the automaker, including Winterkorn, Herbert Diess, and Hans Dieter Poetsch. Most of these investigations dealt with possible stock manipulation.