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Former VW employee says he was fired after questioning deletion of documents

A former Volkswagen Group employee has sued the auto company, saying he was fired after he told VW’s in-house lawyers and its information technology manager that data was being illegally automatically deleted off the company’s system in the aftermath of a Notice of Violation from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The plaintiff, Daniel Donovan, had been a technical project manager at Volkswagen since 2008, working out of the company’s Michigan office. After the EPA announced that it had discovered illegal defeat devices meant to spoof emissions control systems on VW Group’s diesel vehicles, Donovan received notice from his immediate supervisor that Volkswagen had to stop deleting data “effective immediately pursuant to a Department of Justice hold,” according to Bloomberg.

However, Donovan says deletion of data did not stop until three days after that hold was put in place. He also alleges that additional backup disks of the information were not preserved as Volkswagen was required to do, according to the Wall Street Journal. As Courthouse News Service reports, Donovan was fired after he "refused to take part” in activities that could lead to “significant legal sanctions" and took his concerns to a supervisor.