Indian-origin engineer fired by GM

Hemanth Kapanna

NEW YORK: An Indian-origin engineer, who was part of the team that exposed Volkwagen’s conspiracy to lie about its diesel cars’ emissions, was fired by General Motors where he has been working since December 2014.

Hemanth Kapanna, 41, was among 4,000 workers laid off by GM as part of its “strategic transformation” earlier this year..
“Kappanna’s role as a hero in bringing the Volkswagen scandal to light did not protect him when his supervisor called him into a conference room in Milford, Michigan, this past winter.” The New York Times said in a report.

The report cited Kappanna as saying that the supervisor told him that it was nothing personal. His severance package was two months’ pay and a one-way ticket to India.
In 2013, Kappanna was part of a small team of engineering students in West Virginia whose research helped expose Volkswagen’s decade-long conspiracy to lie about its diesel cars’ emissions. The German carmaker has paid $23 billion to resolve criminal charges and lawsuits in the US, and $33 billion over all.

“Kappanna is proud of his role in unmasking Volkswagen’s wrongdoing, but he also wonders whether he was seen within GM as overly zealous about compliance and too friendly to regulators,” the New York Times report said.
“GM said this week that Kappanna’s dismissal ‘was not related to any emissions compliance concerns or related issues’. That he was not a United States citizen also played no role,” the report quoted GM as saying in an emailed statement.

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