FRANKFURT -- Former U.S. Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson has started his role as Volkswagen Group's independent monitor, working from offices at the automaker's headquarters in Wolfsburg.
As part of its settlement with U.S. authorities over the company's diesel-emissions cheating, which included $4.3 billion in fines and penalties, VW agreed to allow a monitor to assess and oversee its compliance for at least three years. VW will finance all costs associated with the monitoring.
Thompson's job will be to assess whether VW's compliance program is robust enough to detect a criminal conspiracy like the diesel-emissions fraud and prevent it from happening again.
Thompson is initially expected to spend one week a month in Germany, working out of a floor in the former IT building "Eingang 80 (Entrance 80)" near the Wolfsburg plant’s main Sandkamp Gate. His team will have access to documents, offices and employees and will also be authorized to attend meetings of various committees of the group and its brands.
"My first impression is that the company is taking this very seriously," Thompson told reporters in June. "The rank and file of VW workers, they really feel that they've been let down by the company. If we can help this company to become better, then this is well worth my time."