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Report: VW ready to apologize to GM

December 9, 1996

BERLIN, Germany (AP) _ Volkswagen AG chief executive Ferdinand Peich will publicly apologize to General Motors Corp., meeting another of GM’s conditions to settle a corporate theft lawsuit, a newspaper reported Monday.

Volkswagen spokesman Klaus Koks was quoted by Die Welt as saying that Peich will express his ``deepest regrets″ to GM on Thursday. Koks was away from the office and not available for confirmation.

GM and its German subsidiary, Adam Opel AG, are suing VW executives in the United States alleging that Jose Ignacio Lopez took confidential files with him when he defected to VW in 1993.

A recent court ruling that GM could pursue its case using racketeering laws, which would automatically triple damages, has put more pressure on VW to seek a settlement. VW stock has plunged as estimates put possible damages into the billions of dollars.

GM has refused to deal until three conditions are met. The first, Lopez’s ouster, was fulfilled when he resigned at the end of last month. But GM officials expressed displeasure at VW executives’ comments that they would continue to work with Lopez as a consultant.

In addition to a public apology, GM also is demanding payment of unspecified damages.

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