Hoping to encourage employees to come forward with information relating to the company's diesel emission scandal, German automaker Volkswagen was expected to publish guidelines for whistleblowers as soon as Thursday. The guidelines would allow employees to disclose self-incriminating information without fear of retribution, but would have a deadline set at the end of November, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The company has been rocked by the revelation of emissions-cheating practices that came to light in September when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a violation that certain diesel engine cars made by Volkswagen had programming that lowered emissions readings during testing. Since then, more allegations of emissions cheating by the company have surfaced.
The company began an internal investigation Sept. 22, just days after the cheating scandal was disclosed by the EPA. One week later, the company handed over that investigation to a U.S. law firm.
Volkswagen engineers, during that investigation, admitted they had helped manipulate the emissions testing programs in the cars, according to news out Sunday. There was apparent pressure to do so within the company, based on statements during a 2012 auto show in which former CEO Martin Winterkorn said he wanted VW to cut carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2015.
The cheating scandal is estimated to have impacted as many as 11 million Volkswagen diesel vehicles, and has been a public relations disaster for the well-known German automaker. Hoping to save face -- or at least some goodwill among customers -- the company offered $1,000 gift cards to as many as 482,000 customers in the United States Monday.
In addition to the nearly half a million vehicles affected in the United States, a whistleblower came forward shortly after the company’s new CEO, Matthias Mueller, was instated in September. That person indicated that greenhouse gas emissions were understated in as many as 800,000 vehicles in Europe, including 100,000 gas-powered cars.