Martin Winterkorn, the CEO of Volkswagen Group, resigned today amid a scandal involving the emissions control systems on Volkswagen and Audi diesel vehicles.
In his notice of resignation, published on Volkswagen’s website, Winterkorn wrote, “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.”
The Volkswagen Group owns automotive brands such as Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, Bentley, Lamborghini, and others. Last week, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a Notice of Violation to the company, saying that a variety of Volkswagen and Audi vehicles made after 2009 were shown to have “defeat devices” on them. The software on a defeat device reduces the efficacy of a car’s emissions control system while it operates under normal conditions, but it allows the emissions control system to operate normally while the car is being tested for emissions compliance. That way, Volkswagen could allegedly offer cars with better performance while ignoring federally mandated emissions regulations in the US.