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Former VW CEO Martin Winterkorn under investigation by German authorities

Former VW CEO Martin Winterkorn under investigation by German authorities

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Wolfgang Minich/AP

Former Volkswagen boss Martin Winterkorn ceded the throne pretty quickly after the company's diesel emissions cheating scandal broke last year, but that doesn't mean he's out of the woods. Just the opposite, in fact: prosecutors in Germany are now investigating Winterkorn at the request of BaFin, the nation's financial regulator.

The investigation isn't directly related to the cheating itself, which saw millions of diesel-equipped vehicles fitted with software designed to evade emissions testing in order to meet fuel economy claims at the environment's expense. Rather, BaFin wants to know whether Winterkorn waited too long to publicize the cheat, after internal documents revealed that he'd known about it for over a year before it was disclosed by the Environmental Protection Agency in the US. Another former VW executive is also caught up in the investigation, though the name of the second individual has not been disclosed.

The news comes amid a Bloomberg report that Volkswagen is close to a final deal in the US to try to fix cars and compensate owners in the US, a deal that will involve $6.5 billion in payments to owners and another $3.5 billion to regulators. The deal has been in the works for several months, but Volkswagen, CARB, and the EPA had requested more time to finalize it; it's expected to be considered by a federal judge in California on July 26th.