Volkswagen AG’s Chief Executive, Martin Winterkorn has resigned today(Wednesday), following his company’s alleged involvement in deceit over emission test of a number of its car models, an incidence that has kept the company’s reputation in bad light since last Friday.
After four days of wallowing in the scandal, the company’s core shareholders and labour representatives held a marathon meeting, lasting for over eight hours. It was at the meeting that Mr. Winterkorn, in an address, said he had decided to accept responsibilities for the scandalous irregularities found in the company’s diesel engines and afterwards tendered his resignation.
Before tendering his resignation, Mr. Winterkorn said he was stunned that a misconduct of that magnitude could happen inside Volkswagen Group, implying that he had no knowledge of it whatsoever.
Last Friday, it came to light that Volkswagen Group had for years been deceptive over emission level claim for its diesel cars. According to a finding by United States Environmental Protection Agency(EPA), Volkswagen Group had been manipulating results of emission test on some of its VW and Audi brand diesel-powered cars, by means of certain software installed in each of those cars. The software is able to recognize whenever emission test is being carried out and will simply alter it, cutting result to as low as one quarter of the true emission reading.
As revealed yesterday (Tuesday), not less than 11 million cars were affected by the scandal and will have to be recalled.
Industry analysts believe that the CEO’s resignation is the beginning of many more troubles awaiting the auto maker, as US EPA might charge the company as much as $18 billion of fine. While investors as well as deceived auto buyers might also go to court to seek for damages, running into billions of dollars.