Further updates on VW’s Dieselgate, as it’s come to be known as, now and forthcoming as we have more. What we’ve learned since our last update:
- CEO Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn has resigned, saying in a statement, “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. […] Volkswagen needs a fresh start – also in terms of personnel. I am clearing the way for this fresh start with my resignation.”
- VW brand development chief Heintz-Jakob Neusser will also be leaving the ranks of Volkswagen, being forced out, reported German weekly Speigel.
- Volkswagen is also kicking the research and development chiefs from Audi and Porsche, along with its top manager for the US. Audi R&D head Ulrich Hackenberg, Wolfgang Hatz from Porsche, and VW U.S. chief executive Michael Horn will be dismissed Friday at a meeting of the supervisory board.
- In addition to the above mentioned resignations and firings, the supervisory board meeting to be held Friday will decide who will take the now-vacated CEO position and release initial findings of its internal investigation, leading to more terminations. Those terminations could include high-level management, even if they didn’t know about the deception. Volkswagen board member Olaf Lies said, “There will be further personnel consequences in the next days and we are calling for those consequences.” He would not elaborate on what that meant.
- Law firm Hagens Berman has already filed three class-action lawsuits against Volkswagen. Plaintiffs come from all 50 states; they’ve paid more for their vehicles than their gasoline counterparts and with the software fix, their vehicles will lose performance and fuel economy. Hagens Berman has also said a fourth lawsuit is on the way. Another law firm, Girard Gibbs, also filed a lawsuit over the discrepancy.
Volkswagen says they have $7.3 billion set aside for damages, but it’s sure to be higher.
What do you think about Dieselgate? Do you think Volkswagen may cease to exist, even if it simply due to loss of funds alone?