Martin Winterkorn, Volkswagen CEO, have taken the responsibility of the biggest scandal in the history of 78 years, and resigned. Apparently, VW have admitted installing emission-detecting software in VW cars.
“Volkswagen needs a fresh start – also in terms of personnel. I am clearing the way for this fresh start with my resignation,” martin said in a statement.
An executive committee of five members questioned Winterkorn, 68, since morning at the headquarters of VW in Wolfsburg, Germany. As the company shares fell more than 30% in value after the scandal, company was under pressure to take some action.
On Wednesday, Germanprosecutors said that a preliminary investigation was conducted into the vehicle emission test results manipulation. “If the investigation found any wrong doing, her country would be “extremely severe,” said Segolene Royal, French Energy Minister.
Angela Merkel, German Chancellor had urged VW to work “as quickly as possible” to make sure that the company is trustworthy to its customers again.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of US said that VW, as a penalty of cheating emission tests of its diesel cars, could have to pay $18 billion.
The car market has been shaken with this story. The US dealers have reported have people are not keen to buy diesel cars anymore. “#dieselgate” is trending on twitter.
Less than 3% of the cars sold in US are of diesel engines, but in Europe, half of the cars are diesel engines as governments have stimulated their use for greenhouse gas targets and to increase fuel efficiency.
The things responsible for the sale of diesel engines are its fuel efficiency and the low emissions of carbon in comparison to gasoline engines. However, the amount of nitrogen dioxide, is much high in diesel engine cars. Their emission may seem less harmful in tests but is fatal in real life. They can hamper with the future of car making if the issue did not solve fast.
“The Volkswagen issue is another black eye for the diesel engine overall,” Mike Jackson, the chief executive of the AutoNation.
VW announced that they have 6.5 billion euros ($7.3 billion) set aside as the reparation costs of sold cars.However, analysts believe that it will not be enough, as the company have disclosed that they have sold 11 million Type EA 189 engines cars, which had shown a clear deviation in the levels of emissions between road use and testing.
According to a familiar source, the justice department of US launched a criminal investigation. The attorneys of other states including New York are forming investigation groups as well.