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Volkswagen whistleblower says he was fired for refusing to delete Dieselgate data

When Volkswagen’s Dieselgate fiasco went public late last year, the brand’s offices around the world were hit with a mix of shock, embarrassment, anger, and panic. Few people really know what went on behind closed doors, but now one former employee says he was instructed to delete data related to the emissions scandal, and when he refused, he was fired for it.

The Courthouse News Service reports that Daniel Donovan, a seven-year veteran of the company, is now suing his former employer for wrongful discharge. The suit claims Donovan became aware that VW’s IT department was deleting Dieselgate-related documents days after the EPA’s notice of violation of September 18, 2015. Troubled over the legal sanctions the automaker could face for obstruction of justice, he reported his findings to his supervisor. A short time later, he was out of a job.

“Donovan also asserts that he was fired because [Volkswagen Group of America] believed that Donovan was about to report the spoliation of evidence and obstruction of justice to the EPA and/or the United States Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or some other public body,” the complaint reads. Donovan is currently seeking exemplary damages in Oakland County Circuit Court.

The sixth-month anniversary of Dieselgate is just days away, but the repercussions of the event are just getting started. The brand has completely reshuffled its management structure, and is in the midst of moving away from diesel completely in favor of electrified projects like the BUDD-e concept, which recently received a greenlight for production. Volkswagen is expected to face billions in fines.

Most recently, Volkswagen Group of America President and CEO Michael Horn has stepped down. Horn first joined the Volkswagen team in 1990 and became President of Volkswagen Group of America in 2014. He will be replaced on an interim basis by Hinrich Woebcken.

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Andrew Hard
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