BRUNSWICK, Germany -- A former Volkswagen manager, who is on trial over the automaker's emissions-cheating scandal, blamed company culture on Thursday for his and others' silence on the matter but said he would have acted differently had he known the consequences.
Hanno Jelden, who prosecutors said was in charge of the development of the illegal software at the heart of the scheme, attributed the long silence over the software malfunction in part to Volkswagen's company culture, which he described as one where problems were to be solved quickly rather than analyzed.
Jelden said at an earlier hearing that he informed superiors about the software that sparked the diesel-cheating scandal, but was pressured to keep quiet.
VW admitted in 2015 to cheating U.S. diesel engine tests, sparking the biggest crisis in its history and costing the automaker more than 32 billion euros ($37.7 billion) in vehicle refits, fines and legal costs so far.
"I never made a secret out of this function [of the software]," Jelden said in a courtroom in the city of Brunswick, where the trial is being held. "If I had known the legal consequences this could have, I would never have let it happen."