Will Volkswagen CEO Winterkorn Be Ousted Over Volkswageddon?
Eleven Million Vehicles Affected Worldwide
Hearsay in the media is leading many people to believe that Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn would be ousted as the head of the automotive giant, tipping Porsche CEO Matthias Müller to succeed him. Meanwhile at HQ, Volkswagen insists that any reports suggesting that Winterkorn is on his way out are “stupid,” and that no personnel changes are in store at the world’s second-largest (or largest, depending on how you count) automaker.
The rumors come after Winterkorn issued a second apology today via the Volkswagen corporate website. In the video apology, Winterkorn expressed profuse contrition over the lack of oversight that allowed 11 million Volkswagens and Audis worldwide to circumvent emissions regulations using a special “test” powertrain tune but operate outside those parameters during normal driving. In some tests, regular driving produced nitrogen emissions as much as 40 times the federal limit. His statement comes after a written apology released yesterday.
The company also released a statement saying that it would be cooperating fully with relevant authorities and the German Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA). The goal is to eliminate the “noticeable deviation between bench test results and actual road use,” which applies only to vehicles with Volkswagen Type EA 189 engines so far.
Volkswagen’s stock is in freefall following the multitudinous allegations and investigations (including a new probe into the company’s other diesel engines by the EPA), falling from a five-day high of 170.60 to 106.00 as of 5:00 p.m. Central European Time. It showed some slight up-and-down wavering late in the day today on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, suggesting investors may be willing to forgive the company if it fully complies with pending investigations and requirements.
The company has always produced some of the Truck Trend Network’s favorite diesel vehicles, so we dearly hope that it will be able to fully recover its somewhat tarnished reputation without sacrificing the earnest driving experience its TDIs have offered in the past.