Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn resigned after revelations revealed the company had rigged US emissions tests.
Volkswagen admitted it installed devices that can alter the operation of its diesel engines to cheat pollution tests in 11 million cars worldwide.
In a statement, CEO Dr Martin Winterkorn said he was “shocked” and “stunned” at the scale of the misconduct within Volkswagen, and resigned despite denying any personal responsibility for the scandal.
“Volkswagen needs a fresh start – also in terms of personnel,” Dr Winterkorn said. “I am clearing the way for this fresh start with my resignation.
“The process of clarification and transparency must continue. This is the only way to win back trust.”
Volkswagen shares plummeted after the scandal came to light, and authorities in South Korea, France, and the United States have announced investigations into the German carmaker’s misconduct.
The company has announced it will set aside 6.5 billion euros ($10.2 billion AUD) to cover costs arising from the scandal, and the Supervisory Board will appoint a replacement for Dr Winterkorn on Friday.
“The Executive Committee thanks Dr. Winterkorn for towering contributions in the past decades and for his willingness to take responsibility in this criticall [sic] phase for the company,” they said in a statement. “This attitude is illustrious.”
Volkswagen could face up to $18 billion USD in fines from the US Environmental Protection Agency for rigging the emissions tests. – Jake Nelson
Top photo from Volkswagen Sweden.