Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn and VW U.S. CEO Michael Horn have now both had their chance to address the company’s diesel emissions scandal, and both of them have been very apologetic.
In a video statement released on Tuesday, VW CEO Dr. Martin Winterkorn addressed the situation. The CEO also said that he is “deeply sorry” for the situation.
“The irregularities in our Group’s diesel engines go against everything Volkswagen stands for. At present, I do not yet have all the answers to all the questions.
“We’re putting everything on the table as quickly, rigorously, and transparently as possible. To be frank with you, manipulation and Volkswagen—that must never be allowed to happen again. I would like to make a formal apology to our customers, to the authorities, and to the general public for this misconduct.”
In a separate statement released before the video, Winterkorn said:
“We will cooperate fully with the responsible agencies, with transparency and urgency, to clearly, openly, and completely establish all of the facts of this case. Volkswagen has ordered an external investigation of this matter.
On this side of the pond, the CEO of VW U.S.A., Michael Horn, delivered a speech at an event where the 2016 Passat was unveiled. He launched into his speech immediately after taking the stage, not wasting any time in addressing the scandal.
“As you have seen since Friday, the EPA, the Environmental Protection Agency, has issued a statement and reality that Volkswagen Group manipulated engine software in our TDI diesel cars, and we violated emissions standards.
“The CEO of our parent company, Dr. Martin Winterkorn, said yesterday Volkswagen will fully cooperate with the responsible agencies, and much much more important as I see it, he stated that he was personally and deeply sorry for this—that Volkswagen has broken the trust of our customers, and the public here in America. And lastly he stated that this matter, and this is I think common sense, now this is the first priority for him personally and for the entire product management team.
“So let’s be clear about this: Our company was dishonest with the EPA and the California Air Resources Board, and with all of you. And in my German words, we’ve totally screwed up. We must fix those cars and prevent this from ever happening again, and we have to make things right—with the government, the public, our customers, our employees, and also very importantly our dealers.”
Volkswagen has now admitted that up to 11 million vehicles may have software installed that makes them cheat on emissions testing. Unconfirmed reports claim that CEO Winterkorn will be replaced by the head of Porsche, Matthias Mueller, later this week.
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