Hallway radio beats BILD and Spiegel: Prime dieselgate suspect found

Jelden, as seen in BILD

Jelden, as seen in BILD

Last Thursday, we wrote that “Hanno Jelden, Development ECUs, has been suspended, says the hallway radio.” We wrote, with a link that “he has an interesting history.” We did not write that he is a key figure in the dieselgate scandal, and that he may have been the man who wrote the cheater code. We did not want to make this accusation on the basis of hallway talk. For two days, all quiet. Today, the story is all over the German media, usually on page one.

From BILD Zeitung, Europe’s most read newspaper, all the way to high-brow Spiegel Magazin, German media writes today that Volkswagen engineer Hanno Jelden has been suspended, and that he is under official suspicion of being the man who designed the defeat device. It is being written that Jelden did not say who up the ladder did know of the device. Reuters says Jelden is “under investigation by German prosecutors on suspicion of fraud.”

I know, many thought that Volkswagen’s hallway radio is a product of our fertile imagination, after all, that’s how autowriters usually work, especially when it comes to future cars. We have to disappoint, our imagination is not that fertile at all. We simply do what autowriters also usually do: We write what the car company tells us: Each day, we chat with a few of our embattled old buddies at Volkswagen, and we write up what they hear from the Flurfunk, as the company rumor mill is called at Volkswagen. Writing it is a risky business. Company rumors are not always correct. Plans can be ditched. Normal auto writers have it easy: Their predictions are instantly forgotten, and nobody complains when they don’t come true. The quality of hallway radio predictions on the other hand can easily be verified.

Keep tuning into the hallway radio via the Dailykanban for your dieselgate updates and more. We are always happy for courtesy linkbacks, even if we don’t take ads.