In an announcement released earlier today, Volkswagen Group CEO Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn revealed that he has resigned from his post in the midst of Volkswagen’s ongoing and ever growing emissions scandal involving its TDI lineup of automobiles.
“As CEO I accept responsibility for the irregularities that have been found in diesel engines and have therefore requested to the Supervisory Board to agree on terminating my function as CEO of the Volkswagen Group. I am doing this in the interests of the company even though I am not aware of any wrongdoing on my part.”
Winterkorn elaborated further stating “I have always been driven by my desire to serve this company, especially our customers and employees. Volkswagen has been, is, and always will be a part of my life.”
Winterkorn’s successor has not been named as of yet, but he or she will have to help the company successfully navigate the rough seas generated by the emissions scandal a formidable task in and of itself. Speaking of those turbulent waters, the government revealed that it has expanded its probe into Volkswagen and Audi diesel vehicles and is now including the 3.0 liter TDI diesel engine in its list of affected engines. The power plant sees duty in the Audi Q3, A6, A7, A8, and the Volkswagen Touareg. The Porsche Cayenne is also involved despite the brand not being listed in the original probe. Audi however was already part of the original probe, so the inclusion of more Audi vehicles in this revised list is not surprising.
The EPA is also looking into all 2016 TDI model’s with notable mentions being the Beetle TDI, the recently unveiled 2016 Passat, Golf TDI, and the Jetta TDI. As a result, the agency banned Volkswagen from selling diesel powered automobiles until the Wolfsburg based firm can prove that it is fully compliant with U.S. emissions standards.
Meanwhile, the formal legal investigation into the scandal reached a new tempo when it was revealed that the U.S. Department of Justice plans to prosecute more executives for various white collar crimes. This decision rescinds the rather light handed method of dealing with the problem that was spearheaded by former Attorney General Eric Holder. As a result of these initial prosecutions, the government could bring even more indictments targeting executives as well as key low level workers if evidence suggests that they were involved in the illegal installation of the defeat devices.
Stay tuned to Autoinfoquest for the latest developments on Volkswagen’s emissions scandal as they become available.