Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn has once again apologized for his company’s betrayal of the public trust by cheating diesel emissions testing.
In a new video statement, the CEO said that he is “endlessly sorry that we betrayed the trust” of millions of people, though he did not address the reports of him being fired. German publication The Tagesspiegel reported that Winterkorn would be replaced by the head of Porsche, Matthias Mueller. A VW spokesman said that the reports were “ridiculous.”
“Swift and comprehensive clarification has now utmost priority,” the CEO said. “To make it very clear: manipulation at VW must never happen again.”
The Volkswagen board was scheduled to meet this Friday to decide on extending Winterkorn’s contract until the end of 2018, but this scandal will likely have a big effect on that decision. It is still unclear which Volkswagen executives had prior knowledge of the defeat devices, with Winterkorn’s speech making it seem as though he had no idea.
“At this point, I don’t have answers to all the questions,” he said. “But we’re in the process of ruthlessly investigating the issue. We will do everything we can to earn your trust back, step by step,”
Volkswagen was initially cited for cheating on roughly half a million diesel cars in the U.S., but the company has since admitted that about 11 million vehicles are programmed to cheat globally. When emissions tests are taking place, a defeat device in these cars will automatically set the engine to produce fewer emissions than they would if they were driving under regular circumstances.
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[Source: Automotive News]
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