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    Posted on Sep 25, 2015

    New VW Boss Was In Charge Of Porsche During 2012 EU Environmental Lobbying Scandal

    Matthias Müller was head of the sports car manufacturer when it was accused of attempting to "unduly influence" European law.

    Matthias Müller at the Porsche museum in Stuttgart. Thomas Kienzle / AFP / Getty

    The new Volkswagen boss, Matthias Müller, whose predecessor resigned this week over the emissions scandal, was head of Porsche when the VW subsidiary was involved in an earlier environmental lobbying row.

    Müller was appointed CEO of Porsche in 2010. In 2012, a Porsche adviser was accused of drafting a European parliament bill, presented to the parliament by a Czech MEP, which would have weakened EU noise pollution laws.

    The "compromise amendment" was put forward in September 2012 by the centre-right MEP Miroslav Ouzký. It would have reduced noise thresholds for many vehicle types, but especially for high-performance sports vehicles, such as Porsches.

    However, the campaign group Transport and Environment got hold of a PowerPoint presentation which appeared to show that the author of part of the compromise amendment was one Hans-Martin Gerhard, the head of Porsche's acoustics department. Transport and Environment said that this revealed "undue influence" from the manufacturer over European law.

    Matthias Müller, left, with outgoing VW chief Martin Winterkorn. Thomas Kienzle / AFP / Getty

    Ouzký denied that Gerhard had written the bill. "The PowerPoint table that I used to formulate the amendment had originally been drafted by Porsche so it has their signature on it," he said in a statement.

    "However, I only used that as a template to fill in the compromise proposals based on a middle way between all of the amendments that I had received."

    Porsche also denied that they had attempted to influence the bill. They told the news website Euractiv that Gerhard had been writing in his capacity as the chairman of the noise-pollution group at the International Organisation of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (OICA). They said that Ouzký's statement that the bill was "drafted" by Porsche was "wrong".

    Ouzký's bill was defeated in the European parliament by a single vote in December 2012.

    Müller's predecessor as VW chief, Martin Winterkorn, resigned on Wednesday after the German car giant was found to have used software to manipulate the results of its diesel emissions tests. As many as 11 million cars are believed to have been affected.

    A spokesperson told Business Insider this week that Porsche has its own testing regime and its cars' results had not been manipulated.

    Nico Muzi, a spokesman for Transport and Environment, told BuzzFeed News: "The issue here is not confidence in an individual's ability as a manager. What's crucial is that Europe should have robust testing and proper enforcement as the US does, so that those who cheat pay for it."

    BuzzFeed News has contacted Porsche for a response.

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