In breaking news on Wednesday, September 22nd, German car maker Volkswagen has announced that CEO Martin Winterkorn is resigning. The news comes following reports earlier this week that VW had been cheating on U.S. EPA emissions tests for a number of years.
Technical experts note that Volkswagen diesel vehicles are actually emitting up to 50 times the amounts of pollutants they claimed to be emitting.It turns out that Volkswagen diesel vehicles are equipped with a software package that automatically shifts to a low-emissions running mode when being tested, but puts out much higher emissions in normal operating mode.
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Statement from VW CEO Martin Winterkorn
Winterkorn commented in a statement Wednesday that he was “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,” he continued.
The firm also announced that possible successors for Winterkorn would be discussed at a supervisory board meeting scheduled for Friday of this week. Analysts suggest that both Matthias Muller, Porsche AG chief executive, and Rupert Stadler, Audi chairman and chief executive, are likely candidates to become the new CEO at Volkswagen.
The second-largest car maker in the world is being rocked by an emissions emissions cheating scandal that has led to $29 billion disappearing from VW’s market value this week alone. Auto industry analysts point out that at least 11 million cars are impacted by the situation and likely to be recalled for some type of emissions-related modifications.
Also of note, the German car maker announced on Tuesday it was setting aside a record $7.3 billion to pay for potential legal costs relating to the situation.
Industry analysts had been saying since the news broke that CEO Martin Winterkorn was on the hot seat, and it looks like his resignation is the only thing that will start to douse the ongoing fire at Volkswagen.