The Chief Executive Officer of Volkswagen, Martin Winterkorn has finally thrown in the towel after it was revealed that 11 million of its diesel vehicles had been programmed to cheat the tests.
In his apology on Wednesday, September 23, 2015, Martin said: ‘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.
‘As CEO, I accept responsibility for the irregularities that have been found in diesel engines and have therefore requested the supervisory board to agree on terminating my function as CEO of the Volkswagen Group.
‘I am doing this in the interests of the company even though I am not aware of any wrongdoing on my part.’
He further said, ‘Volkswagen needs a fresh start – also in terms of personnel. I am clearing the way for this fresh start with my resignation.’
Dr Winterkorn said VW must continue the process of ‘clarification and transparency’.
‘This is the only way to win back trust,’ he explained. ‘I am convinced that the Volkswagen Group and its team will overcome this grave crisis.’
After this statement, the company’s share price went up by 8.7 per cent at 121 euros but has a long way to make up for the declines that saw nearly 25 billion euros wiped off the company’s market value.
It was revealed over the weekend that since 2009, Volkswagen diesel cars in the United States of America had been fitted with misleading software which makes regulators to think the car is ‘greener’ than they really were.