Volkswagen CEO Dr Martin Winterkorn has resigned over Volkswagen Group’s scandalous emissions cheating in what has become known as #dieselgate.

OVERNIGHT VOLKSWAGEN CEO Dr Martin Winterkorn has announced his resignation from the top job at Volkswagen Group, with the company stating it will announce his replacement by the end of the week. The 68-year old who has overseen the VW Group go from strength to strength has also seen it fall from grace within a week.

However, the pot has been simmering away a lot longer than that, with the VW Group being asked, as far back as 2014, to explain anomalous emissions results achieved by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). After testing on two VW Group vehicles in May 2014 it was discovered that in-use emissions were much higher than claimed by Volkswagen. A BMW X5 was used as a benchmark for the test – it passed. The following is the whole issue in a nutshell.

Subsequently VW voluntarily recalled 500,000 vehicles in the US to correct the emissions issue. After retesting by CARB and the EPA it was found the recall had only had a limited benefit. Following that, US authorities announced they wouldn’t approve the 2016 VW diesel range for sale until the anomalous claimed and tested emissions results could be explained by the brand.

Then, earlier this month VW revealed its boffins had designed a very clever algorithm that could determine when the vehicle was being emissions tested and effectively ‘cheat the system’. It was the beginning of the end. CARB and the EPA then announced VW Group had violated two codes; one for selling vehicles that didn’t meet emissions standards, and, two, that it had knowingly set out to deceive authorities.

Thus we get to here with Dr Winterkorn falling on his sword, here’s his resignation letter to all of us:

“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.

As CEO I accept 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. I am doing this in the interests of the company even though I am not aware of any wrong doing on my part.

Volkswagen needs a fresh start – also in terms of personnel. I am clearing the way for this fresh start with my resignation.

I have always been driven by my desire to serve this company, especially our customers and employees. Volkswagen has been, is and will always be my life.

The process of clarification and transparency must continue. This is the only way to win back trust. I am convinced that the Volkswagen Group and its team will overcome this grave crisis.”

According to Volkswagen Group, neither Australian or European vehicles are embroiled in the emissions scandal. That said, would this put you off buying a Volkswagen, let us know in the comments below.


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