Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn has resigned following the automaker’s admission that it fitted certain TDI passenger cars with a special device designed to manipulate US emissions tests. Winterkorn, who has served as VW’s CEO since 2007, said he is “shocked by the events of the past few days,” and is “stunned that misconduct on such a scale was possible in the Volkswagen Group.”
Winterkorn said he was “not aware of any wrongdoing on my part,” but said he was still stepping down in order to clear way for Volkswagen to begin a “fresh start.” The company also said that those responsible for the cheat will “face consequences” and confirmed that “certain illicit action happened,” in regards to the cheat software.
We’ve embedded Winterkorn’s resignation statement below.
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 wrong doing on my part.
Volkswagen needs a fresh start – also in terms of personnel. I am clearing the way for this fresh start with my resignation.
I have always been driven by my desire to serve this company, especially our customers and employees. Volkswagen has been, is and will always be my life.
The process of clarification and transparency must continue. This is the only way to win back trust. I am convinced that the Volkswagen Group and its team will overcome this grave crisis.