The stuttgart regional court has ruled that supplier bosch will have to hand over a large number of documents in order to deal with volkswagen’s emissions fraud. According to a preliminary assessment, bosch could not invoke the right to refuse to testify, the competent judge explained today (13. June 2018).
A decision on this has not yet been made. The plaintiffs want bosch to submit to the court e-mail exchanges between employees of the supplier and volkswagen employees, as well as a letter from bosch’s legal department to volkswagen. Bosch has so far refused (ref. 22 o 205.
The proceedings initiated by vw investors are not directed against the supplier, but against vw’s parent company porsche se. The investors accuse volkswagen and porsche se of informing the market too late about the emissions fraud, which the latter rejects. With the documents they want to prove that the volkswagen management knew much earlier than it admits.
Bosch had supplied volkswagen with the basic version of the software that was used in a crude manner to manipulate emissions values in diesel cars. According to the court, the company is relying on a non-disclosure agreement with volkswagen and also on the fact that publication of the documents would make trade secrets public and that third parties could also use the findings to support claims against bosch. For the time being, however, the court does not consider this argument to be valid.