VW CEO steps down, diesel emissions scam reaches Europe

  • Sep 25, 2015
[caption id="attachment_85175" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Volkswagen is in deep trouble over the diesel emissions scandal Volkswagen is in deep trouble over the diesel emissions scandal[/caption]

Following the company’s diesel emissions debacle that shook, and shocked, the global automobile industry to the core, Martin Winterkorn, CEO- Volkswagen Group, has stepped down from his position. The Volkswagen supervisory board will name Winterkorn’s successor on September 25, 2015. Rumors floating around suggest he might be replaced by Porsche’s president Matthias Muller, while Audi’s top-boss Rupert Stadler could also be asked to take the recently vacated role.

Volkswagen has been accused of cheating on U.S. air pollution tests. The company is said to have a sophisticated software, now being dubbed the "defeat device", installed in the electronic control module of its diesel vehicles manufactured between 2008 and 2015. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of the US, the so called ‘defeat device’ could detect when vehicles were being tested for emission tests, and then alter the performance of the vehicle accordingly to show much ‘cleaner’ test results than normal.

[caption id="attachment_13144" align="aligncenter" width="960"]Volkswagen's new 2.0 litre diesel engine Volkswagen's  2.0 litre diesel engine[/caption]

After EPA’s findings, Volkswagen admitted that 482,000 cars in the US, including the Audi A3, Volkswagen Jetta, Beetle, Golf and Passat were fitted with the aforementioned cheat software. Later, Volkswagen also admitted that about 11 million cars, worldwide, are affected since they also have the same bit of ‘tech’.

In a statement released by Volkswagen, Martin Winterkorn said: “ I am shocked by the events of the past few days. Above all, I am stunned that misconduct on such a scale was possible in the Volkswagen Group. I am not aware of any wrongdoing on my part but I take the responsibility for the irregularities that have been found in diesel engines and have therefore requested the Supervisory Board to agree on terminating my function as CEO of the Volkswagen Group”

[caption id="attachment_85174" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Martin Winterkorn steps down from the CEO position at VW Martin Winterkorn steps down from the CEO position at VW[/caption]

There’s more to it than VW’s CEO resigning though. As per some latest reports it has come to light that Volkswagen manipulated emissions in the European markets as well, further deepening troubles for the German auto ‘giant’. After a recent investigation at Volkswagen’s Wolfsburg headquarters it has been reportedly revealed that vehicles in Europe equipped with the company’s 1.6- and 2.0-litre diesel engines are also affected by the ongoing emissions scandal. Expect more heads to roll across the Volkswagen Group!

Finding a new CEO should be the least of worries at Volkswagen since the company is already reeling under immense pressure from everywhere; it may also face a trial over criminal charges in the US. Concurrently, Volkswagen Group’s market shares have tanked like anything over the past few days and it has already incurred losses worth 26 billion euros in stocks. But the million dollar question right now is how’d the ‘people’s car’ company win back the trust of the people who made it? We can only wait and watch...

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