Volkswagen has set a late November deadline for staff with knowledge about its diesel emissions test cheating to come forward.
Workers who contact internal investigators by the 30th of November will be exempt from dismissal, according to a letter from VW brand chief Herbert Diess, who has said that the offer is being made in the interests of “full and swift clarification”.
US regulators found VW put in software that turned on emissions controls when a car was being tested, a disclosure that effects 11 million vehicles worldwide. The company has also admitted to cheating on carbon dioxide emissions certifications
As the investigations continue, VW has said it will not attempt to sack workers for what they might reveal. However, depending on the content of the information, they might be transferred to other duties.
“Employees covered by collective bargaining agreements who get in touch promptly, but no later than November 30, 2015 may rest assured that the company will waive consequences under labour law such as the termination of employment, and will not make any claim for damages,” Diess said in a letter.
VW has put aside €6.7bn (£4.7bn) to meet the cost of recalling the diesel vehicles worldwide that were fitted with so called “defeat devices” that circumvented tests for emissions of nitrogen oxides.
In the UK there is continuing debate as to whether enough is being done to incentivise whistleblowers to approach authorities. The government is making whistleblowing in the UK easier by insisting that UK companies have procedures to deal with such a situation. In the US cash is offered to potential whistleblowers.