(FILES) This file photo taken on March 14, 2013 shows Martin Winterkorn, then CEO of German carmaker Volkswagen (VW) at the company's annual press conference in Wolfsburg, northern Germany. / AFP / DAVID GANNON
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Volkswagen's former chief executive may have been warned as early as May 2014 of possible anomalies dogging its diesel engines, months before the scandal erupted worldwide, the company admitted.VW, a former paragon of German industry with ambitions to become the world's biggest carmaker, has been plunged into its deepest-ever crisis by revelations that it installed emissions-cheating software into 11 million diesel engines worldwide.On top of still unquantifiable regulatory fines in a range of countries, VW is facing a slew of legal suits, notably in the U.S. and Germany, from angry car owners, as well as from shareholders seeking damages for the massive loss in the value of their shares since September.They accuse VW of violating capital market disclosure rules, saying the carmaker knew about the irregularities long before the scandal broke and should have informed shareholders much earlier because they must have known it would affect the share price.When VW management became aware in August 2015 that the software modifications in its diesel engines did effectively constitute a so-called defeat device prohibited under U.S. law, it promptly informed the U.S. authorities.
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