The “Dieselgate” emissions scandal at Volkswagen AG is about to get a lot worse for the company, if a report in German newspaper Der Spiegel is accurate.
According to the report, the defeat software that changed the emissions of some VW diesel engines when being tested wasn’t the work of a few, as company management has said, but was known by at least 30 managers within the company.
The company denied the report, with a VW spokesperson saying that “the number is without foundation.”
VW of America CEO Michael Horn addressed Congress last Friday and stated that the emissions cheat wasn’t a corporate decision, but the work of a few software engineers in Germany. The Der Spiegel report would contradict Horn’s testimony.
If true, the report would add even more misery for the beleaguered company, which is already looking at spending at least $7.3 billion to fix the 11 million affected vehicles.
Along with the cash and the loss of trust among current and future customers, the scandal has prompted a restructuring of VW’s management. Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn resigned, being replaced with former Porsche CEO Matthias Mueller. Internally, the company was reorganized, with the American, Canadian and Mexican markets combined into one North American region.
However, the man tapped to lead the new region, former Skoda boss Winfried Vahland, quickly turned it down, citing personal reasons. Not only was Vahland close friends with Winterkorn, but Vahland’s wife did not want to make the move to Virginia.
With the VW scandal looking more and more like a soap opera, it’s no wonder that Leonardo DiCaprio’s production company, Appian Way, may put the scandal on the big screen. The company bought the rights to a yet-unfinished book by New York Times writer Jack Ewing, according to CNN Money.
Follow TFLcar’s coverage of the VW Dieselgate scandal, and check out this TFLcar video report showing a TDI-equipped VW Jetta put to the test on the dyno to see just how much power is lost from the cheat device: