Volkswagen fires six managers over diesel emissions cheating

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Volkswagen TDI diesel vehicles owned by Phil Grate and family, Seattle, Washington

Volkswagen plans to fire six engineers and managers implicated in the diesel emissions scandal, German media reports noted Wednesday.

The dismissals are because prosecutors have recently unsealed evidence of the employees’ involvement in the wide-ranging Volkswagen scandal, according to a report by The Associated Press.

German prosecutors have targeted an inner circle of 39 Volkswagen engineers and managers, according to reports.

More workers are expected to be dismissed “as soon as possible,” according to the German newspaper Handelsblatt.

The top executive among the first six being let go is Heinz-Jakob Neusser, the VW brand’s former development director. Others, according to Handelsblatt, may include former engine chiefs Rudolf Krebs and Falko Rudolph, as well as two other engineers and a software developer.

Former CEO Martin Winterkorn may also be among the 39 or more who may receive pink slips in the near future, according to Handelsblatt. Winterkorn resigned as CEO in 2015, but under German labor laws he still has some affiliation with the company.

Winterkorn and Neusser are both among the top Volkswagen executives who have been indicted by the Justice Department in the U.S., though they are not expected to be tried here since Germany typically does not extradite its citizens.

A lawyer representing Neusser and other employees on the list told Handelsblatt that the employees plan to sue Volkswagen to keep their jobs and bonuses.

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