Scandal

Report: Volkswagen CEO Ousted Over Emissions Scandal

Martin Winterkorn, CEO of the Volkswagen Group.
3 min read
This story originally appeared on Business Insider

Volkswagen's CEO Martin Winterkorn has been ousted.

His last day is Sept. 25 according to German press reports in Der Tagespiegel, and he will be replaced by Porsche CEO Matthias Muller.

Winterkorn lost the support of the supervisory board, which meets on Wednesday. The press reports cite sources close to the car company's 20-person supervisory board.

A spokeswoman for VW told Business Insider: "In this moment, we cannot say anything. For the moment we have to wait." 

Winterkorn is being ousted after news broke that VW used software to cheat emissions standards testing.

Since that story first hit, VW's shares have been clobbered. They're down by as much as 20% as of 12 p.m. UK time (7 a.m. ET) after losing more than 20% in trading on Monday — more than a third of the company's market value has been wiped away in just 2 days.

Investors are seriously concerned about the company after US regulators found that software the carmaker designed for diesel cars gave false emissions data. VW faces fines of up to $18 billion (£11.6 billion), the Environmental Protection Agency said on Friday.

The company said Tuesday that up to 11 million cars worldwide are affected by the scandal.

The group issued a profit warning setting aside €6.5 billion (£4.70 billion, $7.27 billion) to "cover the necessary service measures and other efforts to win back the trust of our customers." They add: "discrepancies relate to vehicles with Type EA 189 engines, involving some eleven million vehicles worldwide."

Here's the kicker from their statement:

Volkswagen plans to set aside a provision of some 6.5 billion EUR recognized in the profit and loss statement in the third quarter of the current fiscal year. Due to the ongoing investigations the amounts estimated may be subject to revaluation.

Earnings targets for the Group for 2015 will be adjusted accordingly.

The company fitted its US diesel cars with software that activates the pollution controls only when the car is undergoing official emissions testing.

The cars with the software — called a "defeat device" — would pollute at 10 to 40 times the legal limits when driven normally, the EPA estimated.

The problem is a lot more widespread than first thought. Volkswagen said that: "Further internal investigations conducted to date have established that the relevant engine management software is also installed in other Volkswagen Group vehicles with diesel engines."

"For the majority of these engines the software does not have any effect," the company said in the statement.

Other car companies aren't avoiding the plunge. BMW is down 6.18% and Daimler is down 6.39%.

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